Kellie Henderson has worked with high-risk and marginalized youth/young adults for approximately 30 years (to include homeless youth, sexual assault survivors, gang members and violent/high risk offenders). For over 21 years Kellie worked as a probation counselor with Clark County Juvenile Court (WA), the last 16 years specifically designed to engage with and decrease criminal behavior in gang-affected youth and violent offenders. In addition to being a long-time community volunteer Kellie is a USAF veteran, certified Gang Specialist and Trauma Informed practitioner. Kellie holds a BS in Psychology, Masters in Public Administration and has over 600 hours of continuing education.
Kellie is the co-founder of Safe Communities Task Force. SCTF brought together representatives from various Clark County agencies to create a holistic approach to community wellness and safety through education and mobilization to address youth violence. Kellie piloted the first gang-specific intervention group in Clark County, co-founded the first educational program specific to gang impacted youth and implemented and co-developed the first street outreach program for gang impacted youth.
Kellie has been awarded the YWCA’s Val Joshua Racial Justice Award, the Champion for Youth award from the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and honored as one of the 25 Notable Alumni for WSU-V for her work with highly marginalized populations. The National Gang Crime Research Center in Chicago has also recognized Kellie for her contribution to gang prevention, intervention, and research.
In addition to being a ‘Certified Gang Specialist’ and Trauma Informed Practitioner she is also qualified as an expert witness in the area of gang culture and the impact of trauma and gang culture on adolescents. Kellie is a trainer/consultant on a local, state, and national level most recently co-leading a team of community members to formulate a community driven strategic plan to address an extreme rise in gun/youth violence. The team’s work was instrumental in getting $10 million in funding allocated by Dept of Commerce.
Kellie’s education, genuine passion for, and years of direct hands-on experience in working effectively with some of the highest level, traumatized youth make her an excellent resource for any community looking for models of what works, and why it works, as well as strategies for engagement and application.