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Tess Kelley

Youth Outdoors Assistant Program Manager

Thoughtful. Inquisitive. Approachable.

Tess has a degree in Biology from Illinois Wesleyan University.  During her time in school Tess was able to gain experience working on a research project looking at eggshell pores, studying and traveling in Bhutan, working to better the campus community through collaborating with interfaith and intersectional-feminist organizations, and learning how to draw a really good hexagon (which is pretty much all she remembers from Organic Chemistry). 

During the summers Tess worked at Camp Manito-wish YMCA where she explored her passions in experiential education, group facilitation, and wilderness tripping.  Through 8 years with that organization she went on a 45-day canoe trip in southeastern Nunavut, washed 500 people's dishes three times a day for a few months, ran an 18-horse trail riding program, facilitated the first queer inclusivity training, assisted in running a treetops high ropes course, and led many week long canoeing trips for high schoolers who had never slept in tents before.

This past year as a Crew Leader for Youth Outdoors has been an excited combination of her passions for environmental education and exploration, youth development, and community service. Tess is incredibly grateful for this upcoming opportunity to continue furthering these skills and to support AmeriCorps members in finding success and developing their goals during their year of service.