Kelly Cole, M.A.
GUEST THOUGHT LEADER
For over 20 years, Kelly Cole has woven together her experience as a community advocate, group facilitator, ceremonialist, educator, and musician to create safe spaces where adults, young people, and children can experience and express themselves as empowered beings in the world.
Kelly was active in social justice issues while attending Eckerd College for her undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Composition. She continued her education with a Master’s Degree in Women Studies from The Ohio State University. During and after her M.A. program, Kelly worked as a Teaching Associate for Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies and Women’s Literature courses for undergraduates. During this time, she also worked as a Patient Advocate and Educator at a women’s health clinic in Columbus, Ohio.
After completing her schooling, Kelly moved back to her home state of Michigan and worked as an Individual Services and Outreach Coordinator for Alternatives for Girls in Detroit. This program’s mission is to help homeless and high-risk girls and young women avoid violence, teen pregnancy and exploitation, and help them to explore and access the support, resources and opportunities necessary to be safe, to grow strong and to make positive choices in their lives. While Kelly was working there, the organization’s founder and CEO won Oprah Winfrey’s “Use Your Life” Award.
During her time at Alternatives for Girls, Kelly discovered a passion for facilitating age appropriate workshops and conversations about health and hygiene, puberty, sex education, self-esteem and healthy relationships. When a Community Educator position opened up at Planned Parenthood of Southeasten Michigan, she excitedly accepted the job. While there, she facilitated community workshops and trainings in schools, churches, health departments, medical programs, shelters and detention centers.
In 2003, Kelly moved to Sedona, Arizona where she shifted her focus to work with infants, children and families. She ran a licensed Music Together® program, offering private parent-child music classes as well as bringing music programs to local schools, libraries and Head Start Programs.
Kelly has recently co-facilitated an Empowerment Camp for the Olympia, Washington based non-profit, Empowerment4Girls. She also sits on the Advisory Board for this organization, specifically supporting the Conscious Minds – Conscious Bodies program.