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Kenya Handfield and Project F.R.E.S.H. are on Pace to Change the World

October 2021

Spelman Psychology Major Kenya HandfieldMiami, Florida native Kenya Handfield, C'2025, was introduced to the importance of education early in life by her parents Cornelius and Ester Handfield Jr. and her grandfather Cornelius Handfield Sr., who helped integrate schools by becoming one of the first Black teachers at an all-white school.

At the age of 12, the Spelman College psychology major pioneered Project F.R.E.S.H. (Fundamentals of Reading, Education, Success, and Health), a non-profit book drive, created to instill positivity regarding reading to students from grades K-10 in minority communities. For her efforts, Handfield has been recognized by the City of Miami, City of Opa-Locka, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, University of Miami Hurricanes football team, and several other organizations.

Giving Back and Making a Difference

While a senior at Miami's Booker T. Washington Senior High School, Handfield donated her time and gave back to her community by helping the underserved population and placing an emphasis on local education. She is currently the lead ambassador for Vote The Future, a non-partisan social campaign movement created to spread knowledge to youth and young adults about voting and the importance of civic and political engagement both locally and nationally. Vote The Future has since registered over 1500 youth in Miami-Dade and Broward County to vote, and has participated in multiple virtual panels on the importance of voting and civic engagement in Miami as well as Chicago.

Committed to practicing what she preaches, Handfield sets the bar high for herself and continually strives for excellence. During her high school tenure, she participated and won awards for band, retained membership in multiple honor societies such as the National Honor Society (president), English Honor Society (vice president), and Math Honor Society.

Setting the Bar High for Herself and Local Youth

Handfield served as class and SGA treasurer and president, taught rudimentary music for elementary students, joined multiple clubs and community service organizations, and played on the girl’s flag football team. Outside of school, she also served with multiple organizations, including the Miami Dade County Youth Commission as a voting commissioner and committee chair, the Miami Bethany S.D.A. Church as the youth assistant lead director, and Achieve Miami as a junior advisory board member.

She enjoys teaching and volunteering with her students, reading, writing, drawing, and making music in her free time. She is also the first person from her high school to complete an associate of arts degree in pathways to psychology from Miami-Dade College while a Tornado Academic Scholar prior to graduating high school. Now a student a Spelman, the Morgan Stanley Scholar, is on the pre-law track and double minoring in English and French.

Experience a Day in the Life of Kenya Handfield

Handfield is a participant on the Spelman College Speech and Debate team as a first-year debater.  After graduating with her bachelor's degree, she aspires to attend law school and practice civil or criminal law to help dissipate the school-to-prison pipeline and reform education by expanding Project F.R.E.S.H. into a liberal arts training and mentoring facility across Miami-Dade County. Her goal is to impact lives by teaching students the importance of financial health, literacy and history. 

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