As an Ambassador for both The Ronco Johnson Foundation for Financial Literacy and Curvy Girls, Kelly gives support and teaches financial education to the girls and their families as they face the emotional, medical and financial challenges of scoliosis.
Born in Columbus, Ohio and known for her signature, short and natural hair style, Kelly has nearly thirty years of music experience that started with singing at a young age in the church and school choir, and played the flute in the school band at 8 years old. At age 15, she moved to Atlanta where she turned her full focus to singing.
In 1991, Kelly attended Lee (College) University for 3 years and majored in Music with a Vocal Performance emphasis. As a member of the Lee College Singers and its summer travel ensemble Chosen, she toured nationally, internationally recruiting for the college. She participated in various recording projects and performed with Ron Kenoly, Judy Jacobs, Babbie Mason, Janna Long and Javan. In 1996, Kelly transferred to Spelman College and sang with The Spelman College Glee Club. She graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree.
After graduation, Kelly studied clinical disorders of the voice which fueled her passion for good vocal health and fundamentals that could be applied to any genre of music. She went on to be a successful vocal coach for10 years. She has given her talents to youth and adults to direct and produce musicals, recitals, lead worship leader, and music administrator. In 2005, Kelly traveled to Peru as a member of the worship team that ministered to the homeless, orphans and nursing home residents. Kelly has also been involved with and sung on numerous recording projects with various artists such as Antonia Lawrence, Kim Jordan, and most recently, Ken Ford, electric violinist.
For 7 years, Kelly has developed a career as a licensed Insurance Agent and is the Executive Assistant and Vice President of Marketing for L. R Johnson & Associates, Inc. and was instrumental in starting the company’s non-profit organization, The Ronco Johnson Foundation for Financial Literacy, and serves on its Board of Directors. The foundation was developed to teach sustainable financial education to economically disadvantaged families, children, and individuals in transition. Kelly is also President of the Board of Directors for Home Adoption Studies, and is Co-Treasurer of her father’s organization, The Robert J. Watkins, Jr. Foundation.
Kelly is a proud mother of two children and is extremely blessed to have them. At age 12, she was diagnosed with Scoliosis. After chiropractic care failed, her mother sought alternative treatments. She was a test patient for the Scolitron, a muscular electro-stimulator. The hope was, through this device, to strengthen the weak muscles in the back to hold and improve her C-curve. At age 13, her Scoliosis progressed to a 64 degree curve and she needed to have surgery. A Harrington Rod was installed to correct her curvature. Then, Scoliosis surgery patients had to wear a body cast for 3 months to stabilize the back during the healing process.
Kelly had a difficult time emotionally with her physical condition and visual appearance. Looking to give back as a veteran Scoliosis patient, she became an Ambassador of Curvy Girls, a network of national and international peer-led support groups that reduce the emotional impact of Scoliosis by empowering girls through mutual support and acceptance to become leaders, make healthy lifestyle choices, and improve self-esteem. Curvy Girls was recognized at the 2012 TeenNick Halo Awards.