We recently announced the five winners of our 2021 Freestone Future Leaders Scholarship and invite you to get to know these passionate young adults.
Hometown: Tacoma, Washington
College: Stanford University
Intended Major: Management Science and Engineering
Brett Kelley’s passion for the outdoors and improving the environment, which is evident from his high school activities, has led him to Stanford University. Brett is graduating from Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma, Washington, and plans on pursuing Stanford’s Management Science and Engineering curriculum. He is also interested in environmental engineering or sustainability studies.
At Bellarmine, Brett immersed himself in environmental studies through the school’s Marine Chemistry program, a four-year scientific research program. His research involved exploring plastic straw alternatives and their effects on water quality which led Brett to found Sip-Eco LLC with two of his friends. The company, which began in the Summer of 2020, aims to provide local coffee shops with their environmentally friendly paper straws. He used his own funds from summer jobs to finance their first shipment of straws from Shanghai and assumed responsibility for coordinating with manufacturers and organizing the importation and shipments of the straws. Brett still hopes to expand Sip-Eco LLC, possibly into California, but believes the experience has taught him about some of the difficulties that accompany owning a business and the importance of perseverance.
If not scuba-diving with the Marine Chemistry program, Brett could also be found leading the school’s Hiking Club or participating in Spikeball Club, which he also created. On the rare occasion when Brett was indoors, he served as a dedicated member of the Model UN club for four years and recently won Best Director for overseeing a committee of delegates at a middle school UN conference. He enjoyed sharing his passion for the activity with the younger students and gained confidence in his leadership skills.
Brett appreciated his school’s strong sense of spirit and is looking forward to joining Stanford’s community, meeting new people, and participating in projects and research which will lead to environmental benefits. He also looks forward to taking advantage of California’s warm weather to skimboard, hammock, and skateboard.