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Updated: August 17, 2020 40 under forty

40 Under Forty 2020: Robyn Kennedy (she/her)

Photo | Matthew Wright Robyn Kennedy
Robyn Kennedy (she/her), 38
  • Title: Associate executive director, for mission, programs & community impact
  • Company: YWCA Central Massachusetts, in Worcester
  • Residence: Worcester
  • Birthplace: Worcester
  • College: Assumption University
Click here to read about the other 40 Under Forty, Class of 2020
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Robyn Kennedy is a tireless advocate for equality, dedicating both her personal and professional life to eliminating racism and empowering women. At YWCA, her commitment to bettering the lives of those around her has taken her back and forth from Central Massachusetts to Boston several times, sometimes for work, other times on foot.

A five-time runner of the Boston Marathon, Kennedy used each race to raise funds and awareness for organizations close to her heart, including three runs to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, one to raise money for the racial equity work at the YWCA, and one time to support the Purple Promise Foundation to End Melanoma, which was started in memory of her cousin, Jessica Dovi. During the coronavirus pandemic, Kennedy worked with other area nonprofits to establish a shelter for unaccompanied homeless women who did not have a safe place to stay. In days, the group found a space, secured supplies and established a hot meal delivery train for the guests. More than 30 women stayed in the shelter during its two and a half months of operation.

If you could spend 24 hours only in one city, where would you pick? Barcelona, I love the arts and culture.

What is your favorite pandemic activity? Getting together with friends by Zoom, which keeps a connection with friends, particularly allowing me to see some friends more than I would in person.

Who is most responsible for your success? To quote Rupi Kaur, “I stand on the sacrifices of a million women before me, thinking what can I do to make this mountain taller so the women after me can see farther.”

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