KHK Founder and Ambassador: Lexi Kelley
We kick off this month’s feature column with the story of Lexi Kelley, KHK founder. After a tragic accident at age 11, Lexi felt inspired to actively pursue ways to help others and change the world. Read on to learn more about Lexi and the beginning of Kids Helping Kids!
What inspired you to start KHK? How old were you? What was your vision?
I started KHK after I was in a serious car accident in 2009. I was in and out of the hospital for a while and really relied on the help and support of my friends and family, however it wasn’t until after I was back in school and well on the road to recovery that I realized how truly important their love and prayers were. I wanted to harness that energy and share it with others who may not have the same support I did. I had just turned 12 and a small group of my friends and I brought this idea to life with our first event called Remembering One Relay. We didn’t know how things were going to turn out, but we were sure hoping for the best! We just wanted to get out and help! My vision was based on harnessing the energy I had felt in the hospital and sharing that love and positivity with the underserved children in our community.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Friendly, understanding, and independent
If you could have lunch with anyone, living or deceased, who would it be and why?
This is a tough question I think! There are so many influential and cool people in our world that I would love to meet. I think if I had to choose one I would go with Beyoncé. I am a huge music lover and recently, a lot of artists have been going off the deep end with drugs and changing their music to sound like the typical radio/iTunes selling authors, but I think that she has been an individual and truly cares about her image and isn’t letting the crazy music industry get to her. Besides that, I think she is an incredibly strong, independent, beautiful person with a great loving family, and I think having all of that in the spotlight can be really hard since not much of your life is private when you’re the famous. I really admire her talent and ability to stay professional, but still make time for her daughter and husband. Plus I love her music!!
How have your leadership skills changed throughout your KHK experience?
I have become better at public speaking and sharing my ideas, listening to others ideas, and then compromising to come up with a plan.
Do you have any advice for current KHK ambassadors?
My advice is: Take a risk and lead a project! It may sound like a lot on top of school and other activities, but it’s such an awesome feeling when it all comes together and you’re the one that made it all happen!!
Thinking ahead ten years, what do you see your life like? What will KHK look like?
Currently I am thinking of majoring in International Affairs and minoring in Chinese, with a possible double major in Anthropology & Sociology or Psychology. I love to travel and help others, but am not really sure what type of job I want to have when I’m older. I am working as a waitress this summer and hoping to try out different internships/externships in the future throughout my college career in hopes of finding something I love doing. I think I would be interested in work in the non-profit sector, going to graduate school, or working with a language immersion program, but that all could change ten years from now! As for Kids Helping Kids, it is weird not to be living in Stamford, Connecticut and actively participating in events, meetings, and seeing it grow from afar. I follow KHK on Instagram and Facebook to check out the latest and greatest news. Of course, I hear all the success stories from new programs from my mom (executive director, Jennifer Kelley), but I miss being a part of the thrill of it all. Although I selfishly wish I were there, even without me, our events have continued with so much success. I see KHK continuing to grow and become a bigger, more influential organization. As we move forward, we will focus on replication and reflection. By enhancing those aspects of our organization, students around the world will be inspired to start Kids Helping Kids chapters in their towns, allowing us to expand and positively impact the lives of others.
Thank you, Lexi for sharing your time and passion with us. You are an inspiration to all and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors! For more information on Kids Helping Kids, visit our website at: www.kidshelpingkidsct.org