Brenna Kelly

For sixteen years Brenna has worked throughout the country engaging youth, young adults, and veterans in conservation service. Beginning her career as an AmeriCorps member herself, she learned first-hand the benefits of engaging young people in national service work that positively impacts communities, landscapes and individuals. Frustrated by the lack of conservation corps presence in the Southeast, Brenna returned to the South to begin the Southeast Conservation Corps.

Who inspires you? Why?

I would say my mother and father have inspired me greatly. The older I get the more I realize how impacted and influenced I have been by their unflappable love, work ethic, compassion, mindfulness and self-sacrifice.

What inspires you to do your work?

I am inspired regularly by young people that come together from different backgrounds to step way outside their comfort zones to accomplish the tasks set in front of them. Come rain or shine, heat or cold, corps members learn to live, work and problem solve together. Their resiliency, grit, and transformation is palpable and infectious.

What is one wish you have for Chattanooga? 

That all Chattanoogans are afforded equal access to the natural treasures that surround this city and region, be it a neighborhood park or the Appalachian mountains. Through education and engagement barriers surrounding access to outdoor spaces can be broken and people can participate in the physical, mental and emotional benefits of open spaces.