Chelsea A. Kay, 37, an insurance operations manager living in Saugus, was honored by JCI USA (United States Junior Chamber) as a member of the 2022 class Ten Outstanding Young Americans. Along with the other members of the 2022 TOYA class, Kay received the award at the 84th annual black-tie awards ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, as part of the JCI USA Annual Meeting at the Founders Inn and Spa in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The Ten Outstanding Young Americans program (TOYA) is one of the oldest and most prestigious recognition programs in America. Annually since 1938, JCI USA has sought out young men and women (under the age of 40) who best exemplify the finest attributes of America’s youthful achievers. Previous honorees include Bill Clinton (1979), John F Kennedy (1946), Dick Cheney (1976), Kurt Warner (2010), Wayne Newton (1977), Gayle Sayers (1969), Elvis Presley (1970), Michele Tafoya (2001), and Ruth Riley (2014).
When Kay moved to the beautiful Santa Clarita Valley in 2012, she was fortunate enough to have been offered a full-time position as an agent with a local insurance agency. This has provided her with more opportunities to serve others in ways she could not have imagined, such as picking up an elderly client after an auto accident so his groceries would not spoil or bringing flowers to a newly widowed spouse.
Kay takes great pride in her work strategies and personal service to help build her business while helping clients protect all they have worked so hard for. She and her partner also started their own business by acquiring rental properties and providing housing for military personnel, which she manages.
Kay struggled with drugs and alcohol for 7.5 years which lead her down many challenging roads, including an abusive relationship, having her child taken away, and seeking help with her sobriety.
“My sobriety date is Jan. 11, 2011 and that is the most important date of my life,” Kay said. “It is the date where I re-established my purpose. It is the date that I was able to use my past to help others get through their present. I sponsor women who have the same story as me… they made bad choices and now they want a new and better way of life.”
Apart from home and work, Kay has many other opportunities to serve others. As a woman in recovery from addiction, she attends and leads regular support meetings and speaks at conferences, conventions, and on panels, as well as sponsors several individuals dedicated to their own sobriety. She has the same dedication to all her friends who she has helped when they needed it most. She is always amazed at how even small actions can make a big difference.
In the midst of a busy and demanding life, Kay has added extensive world travel to share with her kids the beauty of the world and show them what it has to offer while allowing them to experience other cultures and traditions firsthand, and has added to her own experiences with an avid love of live theater, art, and music. Kay has recently expanded her own boundaries further by returning to school and will graduate with honors next spring with a bachelor’s degree in business. She believes that enriching her own life is the best example she can provide for her kids.
Kay has a very full yet amazing life that manifests in helping others. She is not defined by her past, nor is her future limited by what she has achieved so far. Helping others will always be a part of her journey, and she looks forward to seeing where her path will take her.
The JCI USA 2022 Ten Outstanding Young Americans are:
– Chelsea A. Kay, 37, Insurance Operations Manager, Canyon Country, California
– Ty Johnson, 24, NFL Runningback, Cumberland, Maryland
– Jennifer A. Lawlor, 32, Academic Researcher, Lawrence, Kansas
– Marcus Ardel Taulauniu Mariota, 29, NFL Quarterback, Atlanta, Georgia
– Olia Morales, Military Officer, United States Air Force, San Antonio, Texas
– Rachael A. Wruble, OD, 38, Optometrist, CFO, Belmont, North Carolina
– Kenzi Pewitt, 32, United States Air Force, Nashville, Tennessee
About JCI USA
JCI USA was founded in 1920 as the original member of the Junior Chamber Movement. Our mission is to develop opportunities that empower young people to create positive change. Since that time millions of men and women have joined our ranks and have gone on to become successful in business, community, and many other walks of life. JCI USA currently operates in nearly 500 communities with more than 12,500 members. JCI USA is part of Junior Chamber International (JCI), which consists of close to 200,000 members in nearly 120 countries worldwide. To learn more about JCI USA, visit www.jciusa.org.
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