PATRICIA E. KELLY

Overview

PATRICIA E. KELLY

Presidential Awardee 2009

Patricia Elaine Lawson-Kelly was born in Hartford, Connecticut and attended the former Arsenal Elementary School in Hartford, Northeast Junior High School and graduated from Weaver High School in 1965. After high school, Pat enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, during the Vietnam war. She received her basic training at Paris Island, South Carolina. She was sent to Camp Pendleton in California, where she received training in Military Intelligence Department. Patricia's Military Occupational Specialty was a Message Decoder, holding clearances for Confidential and Secret messages. She holds several military medals and was honorably discharged in 1968.

Patricia has a BS in Human Services, New Hampshire College and an MBA in Nonprofit Management, University of St. Thomas, and further graduate studies in Law at Western New England School of Law. Patricia is also certified as an Urban Riding Specialist Instructor, Master Urban Riding Instructor, Certified Equine Husbandry Instructor.

In 1984, Patricia founded Ebony Horsewomen, Inc. (EHI). Ebony Horsewomen is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community-service organization, developed and directed by African-American female equestrians whose mission is to encourage and empower inner city youth toward positive and successful lives through the use of horses. Patricia was the first Chairwoman and has been the Chief Executive Officer for 25 years. Patricia is also the Head Equestrian Trainer.

Under Patricia's leadership the Ebony Horsewomen Inc. has grown from a local to a national organization with members across the United States and she has increased the organiza- tional income tenfold. The programs that operate from the Ebony Horsewomen Equestrian Center are the only one of its kind in the United States. The Ebony Horsewomen Equestrian Center is the only Equestrian Center, operated by African-Americans in the United States and the only Equestrian Center operating in a metropolitan city and in a People of Color community in the United States. Patricia is the wife of James C. Kelly, and proud mother of three children and grandmother of four children.

Patricia's affiliations include:
Past President – Greater Hartford Black Republican Club
Past Chairwoman City of Hartford Human Relations Commission
Past Board member of City of Hartford Police Department Citizen Review Board Board member – Connecticut Equestrian Center Corporation
Board member of Black Heritage Riders of America
National Director – National Association of Black Horse Riders