Richard Kelley, a Harvard College alum, began his civic involvement in his hometown of Carpinteria, CA. As a member of the high school EcoClub Richard worked on environmental issues at school and in the community. Through the national Junior State of America he became acquainted with policy discussion and debate.
When Richard entered Harvard University, he was introduced to the surrounding community by the First-Year Urban Program. He began to volunteer at a homeless shelter through the Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA). The summer following his freshman year, Richard became Co-Director of the Cambridge Youth Enrichment Program, a summer camp for low-income children. He was in charge of fundraising efforts, staff hiring and management, and day-to-day program operations. Richard then expanded the camp’s impact by starting the Cambridge After School Program, serving the same population of youth. During his second summer co-directing the camp, Richard focused much more on community partnerships. Through his efforts, the after school program now runs four days a week and continues to expand.
Beyond his work in the community, Richard has served as an officer of the Phillips Brooks House Association, starting as Resource Development Co-Chair 2008-2009 and then President of PBHA 2009-2010, representing the association to other organizations, alumnae, the University, funders, and community leaders. He chaired the Board of Trustees and facilitates long-term planning. Somehow Richard also finds time to be a mentor for PBHA’s Native American Youth Enrichment Program’s Big Sib initiative, perhaps because he feels that he gains much more than he could ever offer.
Richard majored in Folklore and Mythology with a secondary degree in Government. He received the Creativity Foundation’s 2009 Legacy Medal for his exceptional creative promise in public service. His volunteer experiences have solidified his commitment to address issues facing lower income communities.
Following graduation, Richard spent a year working in the Mamelodi Township community of South Africa, designing and implementing educational programming for township high school students. He worked on a variety of initiatives, including computer literacy classes, after school and holiday programming, and a young men’s group. He continues his involvement with the Mamelodi community through being actively involved in fundraising efforts to support these essential programs. Richard currently resides in Washington, DC, and is a faculty member at the School for Ethics and Global Leadership, a DC-based semester program for high school juniors.