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Meet Kelly

Experienced Leadership
  • MSU Alumni (BA & MS)
  • Finance Professional
  • Engaged Democrat
  • Lifelong Spartan

I was born and raised here in Michigan, first in Shelby Township,
where I attended Jack Harvey Elementary, and then in the “thumb,“ when
we moved to be closer to my grandparents in the small town of Yale. My
father is a pharmacist and is simply the best man I know. My mother is
a nurse, who worked her way up into hospital administration. I have
always been proud to be their daughter and deeply admire their strong
work ethic. My grandfather, a union pipe fitter and active member of
Local 98 (and then Local 636), is the reason I first became a

After graduating from Yale public schools, I enrolled in James Madison
College at Michigan State University. It was the only school I applied
to; I knew from a very young age that I was always meant to be a
Spartan. During freshman orientation, the young women in our class
were told that 1 in 4 of us were going to be sexually assaulted during
our time on campus. That was the culture MSU set for us on day one and
unfortunately, I became that 1 in 4 later that year.

Three and a half years later, I completed a BA in International
Relations, with a specialization in Muslim studies. Despite my rocky
beginning, my time at Michigan State was much of what I dreamed: I
studied abroad in Egypt, I was part of a student group called Madison
Academic Diversity Initiative, which paired upperclassmen with
incoming students to help them acclimate to student life. It was an
amazing experience to be part of. To pay for all of this, I exhausted
my high school savings, worked, took out loans and borrowed from my
parents. I graduated with over $40,000 in debt, which I pay $400 for
every month. I still consider myself fortunate, as many of my
classmates are paying much larger "mortgage payments" for their

While finishing my undergraduate degree, I began to gain formal
experience in professional fundraising, first in state government and
then with Congressman Sander Levin. It was during my time at Sandy‘s
office that I pursued my MS in Law Enforcement Intelligence and
Analysis with Certificates in Homeland Security and Critical Thinking,
again from MSU.

For the past several years, I have worked at the United Way for
Southeastern Michigan, helping to engage Michiganders in our
private-sector partners, and to raise money in support of the social
justice and educational work that we do throughout Wayne, Oakland and
Macomb County. My role is to connect those with resources to those who
are in need of them. Everyday, I work to improve equity, inclusion and opportunity. I see how hard life is when you don't have access to quality education.

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