Development Associate

National Team 224-563-9353 kelseyobrien2

Kelsey was born and raised in the Chicagoland area. She attended Loyola University Chicago, where she studied political science and English and was a member of Phi Sigma Sigma. During her junior year, she participated in Loyola’s Washington, DC program and interned with Congresswoman Robin Kelly, where she loved talking with constituents about the issues they were most passionate about. Kelsey has also interned for Reform for Illinois, advocating for reforms that would address campaign finance laws and encourage transparency, and worked on her state senator’s campaign. After graduating from Loyola, she moved to DC and started interning with 50CAN. She is excited to join the team full-time as a Development Associate.

When Kelsey isn’t working, she’s probably exploring DC or reading. Kelsey is also very passionate about poetry and 2000s pop music.

I aspire to be like Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. Here’s why:

Elle Woods is constantly underestimated and isn’t taken seriously. Her idealism is mistaken for naivety, but she finds success by going with her gut, valuing her friendships and being perceptive. And her scented resumes and pink suits are iconic.

Why I love my job:

I love my job because I get to work with inspiring people who are passionate about what they do every day!

My connection to public schools:

Growing up, my parents always emphasized my education. I’m very privileged that my parents were able to help me navigate through grade school, high school and college. By working at 50CAN, I hope that I can help ensure that every student is guided through their educational experiences in that same way.

What I’m bad at:

I’m bad at not constantly talking about the Midwest – it’s one of my favorite places!

This image represents why I work at 50CAN:

This picture is from my mom’s high school graduation. Each of these women – my mom, my Nonna and my great-grandmother – made incredible sacrifices to ensure that their children could have the best education possible. Everything I have achieved is largely because of the support and encouragement of these women who give our family so much joy and love.