TITLE: Coordinator, Youth Advisory Board
FOCUS AREAS: K-12 education, access to higher education, financial literacy, arts and culture, the environment, community safety, health and wellness
CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, (309) 766-6126
PROFILE: Cooper Kennard is Coordinator of the Youth Advisory Board, a branch of giving for the State Farm Foundation. Here is his bio on the Youth Advisory Board's website:
A native of the great state of Mississippi, Cooper's participation in service learning and civic initiatives began in middle school when he founded his own non-profit. Project Armstrong was founded to help offset the travel expenses for families with children receiving treatment for cancer in the state of Mississippi. In addition, Cooper served as the chair of the Northeast Mississippi Youth Foundation, which focused on granting money to deserving schools and non-profits with service-learning projects around the state. What began as a passion for community service soon developed into a deep understanding and commitment to service-learning. Cooper’s service activities led to his being selected for the State Farm Youth Advisory Board in 2010.
Cooper is a 2013 graduate of the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) with a degree in Political Science and Theatre. While at UA, Cooper was part of the University Fellows Program, spending three weeks for three summers in rural Alabama working on various economic, social and wellness projects as part of the university's BlackBelt Experience. Cooper served as a Board Member from his sophomore to senior year in college, completing an internship for State Farm in between years during the summer.
After graduating from Alabama, Cooper accepted a position as an Enterprise Development Associate at State Farm, where he was given the opportunity to work on the Education Leadership Team with the Youth Advisory Board. He also works with the Enterprise Philanthropy Team within State Farm Human Resources in addition to his role as the coordinator of the YAB. His passion for service-learning and pride in the work of the board – along with an internship at State Farm - convinced him that State Farm was where he would begin his post-college career.
Outside of service-learning, Cooper holds a deep passion for local and state-level politics, taking part in various political elections as everything from a volunteer and strategist to an active citizen, voting at every opportunity possible. In his down time, Cooper enjoys all things related to sports, willingly sharing how the SEC is the best sports conference in the nation (Roll Tide!) and how Chelsea will win the English Premier League in soccer.