33, District Heights, Md.
Most hated stereotype:
That our race implies incompetence and lack of intelligence.
Competence is something Kelly exhibited before she had any idea what it meant. At the age of 10 she decided on her own that she needed to attend boarding school to remove herself from an impossible situation. With a mother struggling with drug addiction, she knew she had to take care of herself.
“I knew that she would be of no help to me then, or in the near future,” Kelly says. “I wanted an out and by the grace of God, I found one.”
Aided by a principal and a teacher, Kelly not only found and applied to a boarding school but also received a scholarship. Numerous honor rolls, choir concerts and athletic competitions later, Kelly graduated, a feat she considers her proudest achievement.
“I had no parents to support or encourage me from the day I set foot on campus. I knew that if I could do that on my own, I could do anything.”
That passion for education has continued into adulthood. Currently working toward a health education degree, Kelly started a preschool, Kindred Early Learning Academy, where she teaches her 3-year-old son, among other students. And her non-profit, Loving Me Why?, is a health and nutrition program designed to teach youth about leading healthier lives through nutrition, physical activities and positive self-esteem development.
Learning will continue to be a lifelong endeavor for Kelly, who hopes to eventually earn her doctorate in sociology.
I have been sitting here trying to figure out how to combine, bartending, public relations, web development, catering and Doula services…These are currently my money makers. So currently my description is, “Contemporary Renaissance woman, hustle girl. You need it, I have it. Can’t find it, I’ll get it. firstname.lastname@example.org.”
To obtain my doctorate in sociology, to complete my Health and Nutrition curriculum for the youth, to find a space for my preschool Kindred Early Learning Academy, to live my best life, to finish my book, to tell my story, to give my son my all, to be a billionaire…and to keep setting goals so that I am always working toward something and to set them so high that even if I don’t reach them, I will still have made progress of some sort.