CHANDLER, Ariz. – Kennedy Terrill, City of Chandler Recreation Coordinator, was recently recognized by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) as one of the “30 Under 30” top young park and recreation professionals for 2024.
Terrill oversees an extensive facet of the City of Chandler’s youth and teen special programs and events, in addition to the recreation division’s community engagement activities and Community Center rentals.
The 30 Under 30 program is a partnership between NRPA and Parks & Recreation magazine to honor top young professionals in the parks and recreation field who serve as everyday champions in their communities. Terrill is part of an elite group; only 90 young parks and recreation professionals have been inducted into the program since it began in 2021.
The 30 Under 30 feature article in Parks & Recreation magazine mentioned that “Terrill was tasked with creating a community engagement program. In less than a year, she has expanded the initiative to more than 40 events annually.”
Some of programs that Terrill oversees include Leaders in Training (L.I.T.), a program that places teen volunteers in work environments with the City of Chandler and local partnering organizations; Concerts in the Courtyard, a chance for teen bands to perform; the Youth and Teen Talent Competition; the Daddy Daughter Dance; the Youth and Teen Art Show; the Teen “School’s Out” Pool party; and a variety of arts and craft classes.
She was also responsible for planning the first “Ending the Stigma: A Teen Mental Health Summit” last October.
“Working with kids and teens in Chandler means so much to me because I attended programs at the Chandler Community Center when I was growing up and worked at Chandler’s summer camps when I was in high school,” said Terrill. “I am so proud that I can continue some of the most popular activities and events and work with our attendees to put their new ideas into action.”
She is always present at these events, creating a personal connection between Chandler Recreation and local teens. In addition to her commitment to the community, the success of her programs and the impact on local youth are proven by the numbers.
“This past year, I had the privilege of working directly with nearly 100 L.I.T. participants who served more than 4,000 volunteer hours,” Terrill stated. “More than 600 kids ages 3-17 participated in one of my programs this past year and more than 700 people were part of the audience to support our youth in programs like the Talent Competition and Concerts in the Courtyard.”
She has been able to collaborate with dozens of external organizations, nonprofits and other city departments to expand programming for kids and teens.