Hailing from Fort Collins, Colorado, author Brielle Kelley has always loved writing and working with kids. Thanks to a bilingual immersion education at Harris Elementary, Brielle was able to grow with a love for languages and cultural diversity. In high school, these passions forged into a bilingual children’s book with a message of self-esteem, diversity and authentic friendship, rooted in her own experiences. Brielle graduated from Creighton University with majors in Spanish and psychology then joined Rostro de Cristo, a volunteer program in Ecuador focused on building relationships and cross-cultural understanding.
On the margins of Ecuador’s largest city, Guayaquil, she lived with five other volunteers, immersed in a developing barrio where basic resources such as running water, electricity and trash services were either scarce or non-existent. During her year as a volunteer, Brielle engaged in teaching English at a non-profit, bilingual preschool, helping establish an intervention program for youth on the outermost fringes of society focused on basic nutrition, academic achievement, and environmental consciousness, and leading U.S. retreat groups in educational immersion trips. Her passion for education was solidified through these challenging and life-giving experiences, motivating Brielle to return to Ecuador individually for another semester to teach 1st–10th grade English and earn her educator’s license. To learn more about the author’s experiences abroad, visit her blog.
Brielle loves to share her story of learning self-esteem after dealing with issues of bullying as a child, along with the lessons of friendship and open-mindedness discovered during her time living in South America. She has delivered presentations across the country to students of all ages and backgrounds, listening to their struggles, joys and hopes, and encouraging them to “Be who they are and say what they feel” in pursuing their dreams. All profits from the sale of Brielle’s book, The Little Skunk Who Was Afraid to Stink / El pequeño zorrillo que temía su propio tufillo, are donated to organizations benefiting the education and well-being of underserved youth. Learn more about scheduling an author visit here.