Kelly Fair is the Founder and Executive Director of the Reflections Foundation and the Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program, non-profit organizations focused on the life-skills enhancement, career readiness and leadership development of girls and young women. She is the author of “They’re All the Same Girl” and the soon-to-be released “Every Girl is a CEO.” She is an award-winning social entrepreneur and advocate for girls, women, mentoring and workforce pipelining.
Kelly, a trained speech pathologist, began her career creating and directing innovative college prep and work-study programs for high school and college students from Urban areas. Next, she worked on the development and marketing of national literacy programs, impacting the lives of children from early child-hood to middle school.
Because of this experience, Kelly saw a gap in girls centered programming targeting girls building strong communication skills at home, at school, and in preparation for the future workplace, which led her to start Polished Pebbles with two mentees.
Polished Pebbles recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. The program has engaged more than 3000 girls, across 100 different program sites, and has raised $2MM + for partnering schools and communities.
Though widely known as “The Mentor,” Kelly’s true gift is unleashing a girl’s innate greatness so she can live her best life now and in the future. Mentoring plays a big role in Kelly’s “Girl Greatness” model, as well as the integration of instruction, visualization practice and partnerships.
Kelly is a graduate of Howard University and the University of Iowa, with honors.
Her work on behalf of girls and young women has earned recognition including: Duke University Women’s Center National Impact Award, Roslyn Jaffe Award, Bank of America Global Ambassador, Dusable Museum Margaret Burroughs Trailblazer Award, PUSH Excel Youth Mentoring Award.
Kelly currently serves on the US Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls Taskforce, the Harold Washington College President’s Advisory Board and the Illinois Council for Women and Girls.
She is a true “south side girl” and lives in Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood.