About Kelly

Literacy advocate and mentor, Kelly Fair, founded Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program in 2009. An active member in her community, Kelly’s passion for youth and female-specific enrichment programs inspired her to consult for several other non-profit organizations as an educational consultant and trainer in addition to Polished Pebbles.

Kelly’s current and previous board memberships include Bronzeville Community Action Council, Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League, Chicago Women in Publishing, the International Reading Association, the Advocacy Council of Women Employed, Inc., and the Christ Universal Temple Board of Directors. She continues to support organizations where she can collaborate with others interested in community improvement and literacy.

Kelly was recently recognized by ComEd as one of Chicagoland’s “Neighborhood Heroes” for her outstanding work in the local community and Chicago neighborhood, Roseland. She was also recently honored by Walker’s Legacy and Accelerate with Google as they highlighted women of color in business in celebration of Women’s History Month. Other awards Kelly has received in 2014 include the Margaret Burroughs Award from the DuSable Museum Women’s Board, and the American Red Cross Heroes Award. She also received recognition in 2013 from Verizon Wireless’ Everyday Heroes initiative for her service in the community.

But she wasn’t always in the non-profit business. Prior to working in the non-profit sector, Kelly implemented literacy programs, performed research studies training and designed curriculum for various college prep programs. While working for McGraw-Hill, Kelly’s roles included management of national marketing for literacy products and oversight of research studies. That professional experience helped to inspire her transition to the non-profit world and to launch Polished Pebbles.

Kelly graduated from Howard University with a degree in Speech Pathology minoring in Psychology and completed her master’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology at the University of Iowa. She uses her educational background to instill effective communication skills via the Polished Pebbles S.H.I.N.E. : Smile, Hello, Introduce, Nod your head, End the conversation.

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10 thoughts on “About Kelly

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  4. I’ve known Kelly since 1993, but our relationship grew as we became young adults. I appreciate all her efforts in opening the eyes of our young women; to be consistent, be intelligent and professional, and that it’s okay to be different.

    Thank you friend for hearing the voice of God and following in His purpose for your life. May He continue to anoint and prosper you in your endeavors!

  5. Hi Kelly!

    I like you columns in Jet on STEM. I would love to be featured! I have an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, and I have managed software development projects for 15 years. I also wrote a book called “Minority Tech” (http://www.MinorityTech.com) about my experiences as a person of color in technology. I’d love to discuss technology and the importance of improving diversity in tech.


    Anjuan Simmons

  6. Kelly,

    this is Michelle d’Arville Downing formerly of CPS, Area 24. I am currently at Chicago State University. Please give me a call to determine when we can meet. I have a few ideas that you might find interesting.


    Michelle ddm

    Office 773-995-3601

  7. Pingback: Panel: Exploring Creative Ways to Combat Violent Crime – Dometi Pongo

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