Kelsey Boyd-Thompson
Posted on 05/17/2024
Kelsey Boyd-ThompsonChattanooga Tennessee- Kelsey Boyd-Thompson, a remarkable 2024 graduate of Ooltewah High School, used her senior research capstone to explore a pressing community need and evaluate the intricate relationship between socioeconomic factors, diet quality, and nutritional availability. Kelsey is making a community impact and presented her research to county leaders including both Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp and Chattanooga City Mayor Tim Kelly.

Kelsey’s journey with Hamilton County Schools began when her family moved from Sullivan County during her fourth-grade year. Reflecting on her experience, Kelsey shared, "The opportunities I've had at Hamilton County Schools far exceed what I could have imagined elsewhere. It inspired me to leverage every chance to make a significant impact." Kelsey's involvement in various activities such as the National Honors Society, DECA, Beta Club, and FCA Cheer, alongside her work at the student coffee shop, speaks volumes about her commitment to excellence and community service.

Her research project utilized a cross-component parallel study design to investigate how socioeconomic status and income levels influence diet quality and nutritional opportunities. By comparing areas with varying economic backgrounds, Kelsey identified a notable disparity in the availability of grocery stores and healthy food options—a key factor affecting community health and well-being. Her findings highlight the critical role of environmental factors in nutritional scarcity, offering a new perspective on the challenges faced by different segments of our community.

Kelsey's work has not only captured the attention of her peers and mentors but has also been recognized at the AP Symposium, where she partnered with Chattanooga 2.0 and engaged with the Mayors’ offices to discuss her findings. She is hoping to continue her work and publish a white paper. Her study also further outline the need for community research exploring how transportation accessibility could enhance nutritional opportunities for underserved communities.

As Kelsey prepares to pursue a degree in computer science through the BlueSky initiative, she remains dedicated to her advocacy and research, aiming to continue making a difference in her community. Her story is a testament to the power of opportunity and the profound impact of dedicated educational pursuits on individual and community growth.

Hamilton County Schools remains committed to supporting every student like Kelsey, ensuring they have the resources and opportunities to thrive and contribute meaningfully to our community. Kelsey Boyd-Thompson exemplifies the spirit of our mission, embodying our commitments to ensure that every student learns, belongs, and succeeds in creating a future without limits.