A Tribute from ISPRC
The ISPRC and the University offer our thoughts and prayers to the family and classmates of Kelsey Rennebohm, a graduate student in the Lynch School of Education and a Jeremiah E. Burke School Advocate, who died after she was struck by a vehicle on Huntington Avenue in Boston on Friday night, June 1. Kelsey was a gifted student and an experienced teacher who worked to provide high-quality instruction and support services for all children. A 2006 honors graduate of Barnard College, she was enrolled full-time in the Lynch School’s counseling psychology program. Prior to attending Boston College, she had worked for two years as a teacher in New York City.
Kelsey aspired to continue her work in the Counseling Psychology field including desiring to study at the doctoral level. On the ISPRC team she served as an advocate at a local turn-around school in Dorchester, MA, and was chosen to speak about her experience in our annual newsletter. Kelsey was a kind heart who encompassed a passion and eagerness to reach out to oppressed communities and groups of individuals. Her dedicated personality never allowed her to do just enough to get by, for she always went above and beyond to help others and to exist as the best rising professional she could be.
She is truly a soul that the ISPRC Team, the University, and community will deeply miss. Though this has been such a tragic and difficult time, we remain inspired by the legacy she left, and the lives she touched, including our own.
"To me, Kelsey truly embodied not only what it meant to be a counselor, but a humanitarian. She had a positive energy about her and radiance that will never leave my memory. Though such a difficult time, I felt this same positive energy when I met the members of her family, and for that I will forever be inspired.”
- Dericka D. Canada, Burke School Advocate Training Coordinator
“Kelsey was, and always will be, my role model and inspiration. She possessed warmth, passion and love for her work and all the people around her. I will never forget her kind words when she sought me out and gave me encouragement in my lowest moments. Although I miss seeing her beautiful smile in classes and down the hallways of Campion, Kelsey will always be in my heart.“
- Elaine Yeo, Fellow Burke School Advocate
“I feel very fortunate to know Kelsey and work with her closely. She both supported and challenged me in such a sweet way and helped me grow as a person and a counselor. I was not only impressed with her talent and devotion to helping others, but also touched by her kindness and wisdom. A genuine advocate, Kelsey instilled hope in my heart that tomorrow will be brighter than today and social justice is possible. Also, it was a moving moment for me to see how Kelsey touched many people’s hearts and lives in only a year. Once again, I realize how much I have learned from Kelsey and how deeply I was inspired by her beautiful soul. As Kelsey and I promised in our last conversation, we will stay connected with each other...”
- Saliha Kozan, Burke School Lab Leader
“Thanks for the gift of briefly journeying together. Las compañeras guatemaltecas te extrañerán... But among the Maya you will always be ‘Presente!’”
- Dr. Brinton Lykes, Chair of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology Department
"Kelsey had the gift of stopping time and listening well so that it was easy to hear who we could become. That was the future she held safe for all of us in her heart. You may ask, what now? and I hope you will understand when we speak softly among ourselves and do not answer just yet. For our future is no longer the same without her."
- Amy Orecchia, M.A. Boston College
"Kelsey was an amazing young woman. She brought true love, passion, devotion, and insight into everything that she did. She always went above and beyond and inspired me to work harder and be better. The most wonderful thing about Kelsey was that she always made time to remember others. She genuinely cared about how I, and my family, was doing and I truly appreciated her thoughtfulness. I will miss her dearly, but her inspiration, and her spirit, will follow me in much of what I do."
- Natasha Torkelson, Burke Training Coordinator
“With every word that Kelsey spoke, whether it was towards a client, professor, or friend, there was such grace, compassion, and honesty. She was the only person I have ever met that had the ability to touch everyone she met in a positive way. She truly was the best in every sense of the word, and while I, as well as so many others, will miss her dearly, I know I have someone who I can forever aspire to be like in her.”
- David Roman, Fellow Burke Advocate
“Kelsey had this amazing way of both embracing and pushing all of us to be better counselors, to be courageous, to ask questions, and to speak up and advocate with our students at the Burke School. She was one of the most caring and compassionate people I have ever met. I feel deeply saddened, but also so grateful for all that Kelsey taught me and the example she was for all of us. I have no doubt that Kelsey's memory and spirit will continue to inspire me as I continue my work as an advocate, and counselor.. While I miss her more than words can express, I am hopeful that we can all commit to live our lives with a passion for justice and a concern for others in the same way that Kelsey chose to live.”
- Amy Piepiora, Fellow Burke Advocate
“Kelsey was an amazing friend, student, and advocate. She is someone I looked up to and was a constant source of inspiration. I know that this inspiration will stay with me the rest of my life as well as her smile that never seemed to fade.”
- Tessa Myers, Fellow Burke Advocate