My life's motto is to
SCHOLAR. VIOLINIST. STEMINIST. SPEAKER
"Growing up, I was consistently the recipient of service. Now it is my mission to serve my community and honor the service that made my childhood fruitful. I combine my three passions in STEM, music, and activism to give back to my community."
A native of Northeast Ohio, 20yr old Kynnedy Simone is a Scholar, Steminist, Violinist, Speaker, and Entrepreneur. As a sophomore at Columbia University, she is double majoring in computer science and cognitive science with a focus on artificial intelligence and human-computer-interaction. Kynnedy's future career goal is to own her own software company that addresses the needs of marginalized populations using artificial intelligence.
In 2021, Kynnedy was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society, which is considered America's most prestigious academic honor society. She was selected as the Phi Beta Kappa Honoree for her graduating class, and delivered what is traditionally known as the valedictorian speech. In addition, she was inducted into the Cum Laude Society for having over a 4.0 grade point average.
While in high school, Kynnedy participated in the 2020 Vital Voices HerLead Fellowship, Disney Dreamers Academy Class of 2019, Black Girls Lead Classes of 2019 and 2020, and was a three year scholar in the At The Well Leadership Conferences, where she is now a conference speaker. She participated in several school and community based extracurricular and leadership activities, and achieved over 300 community service hours.
Kynnedy has recently established The Dream Scholars, a community service initiative to help scholars understand the importance of service and civic engagement and its connection to scholarship. Through this program she has established her first scholarship award, The Kynnedy Simone ‘I Am The Dream’ Scholarship which is available for graduating high school seniors who exhibit scholarship and service.
As an aspiring Ph.D. candidate, Kynnedy has completed research in predictive data analytics, digital mapping, and gamification at institutions like NYU and Davidson College. She also studied at MIT in their MOSTEC program which resulted in published works. She is now a researcher in the Computational Design Lab at Columbia University where she has worked since her freshman year. She has gained industry experience at Xerox as a Product-Systems Engineer and at Amazon as an AFE Software Development Engineer. In 2022, Kynnedy was selected as a Bridgewater Associates Rising Fellow, FTTP Jane Street Scholar, Management Leadership for Tomorrow Fellow, Girls Who Invest Scholar, and a D.E Shaw Momentum Fellow. As a leader on her school’s campus, Kynnedy currently holds the roles of Founder of Encode Justice Columbia, Editor in Chief of the Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal, Research Developer for Neurotech Columbia, and Jr. Analyst for Black Gen Capital.
Kynnedy combines her passion for STEM with her love of the arts as a violinist with over eleven years of classical and contemporary music study. She has been a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, the Contemporary Youth Orchestra, Kaboom Collective Studio Orchestra, and she is currently a member of the Columbia University Orchestra. She has performed on national and international stages as part of an ensemble, orchestra, and solo. Her combined interests of arts, STEM, and leadership play a huge role in her civic engagement and leadership tenure. She is the founder of I Art Cleveland, a nonprofit focused on connecting under-served youth with access to arts education, programming, and funding, and Chat(Her) Talks, an online speakers series for youth designed to connect, empower and build a sisterhood of global leaders. Through arts and community building, her personal mission is to bridge the inequities in developmental opportunities for youth based on race, class, and gender.
Through her service and passion for arts and STEM, Kynnedy has established the ‘Creative Justice Fellowship’, a signature program of her nonprofit, I Art Cleveland. It is a six month leadership program for youth artists, providing the opportunity to learn advocacy and leadership skills from local and national social justice advocates and creative mentors while examining principles rooted in social justice. The fellowship results in a public showcase of original artworks produced by each fellow creatively storytelling in their chosen artform how social injustices impact the lives of youth.
Currently, Kynnedy holds the roles of Vice President of Undergraduate and New Graduate Affairs as the first undergraduate member of the Ron Brown Alumni Association Board and she is also a College Advisor for the Ron Brown Guided Pathways Success Program. Additionally, Kynnedy has worked as the Social Media Manager for Design Explorr, a social impact organization aiming to diversify the design profession, since 2020.
Kynnedy’s leadership journey has been highlighted in three books; Unbossed: How Black Girls Are Leading the Way (2022); Black Girls Unbossed: Young World Changers Leading the Way (2022); and Unstoppable100: Women and Girls Shaping Our World (2022) (in current presale). She was recently highlighted by Vital Voices as one of '13 Young Women Leaders You Need to Know'.
Kynnedy has been a featured speaker and panelist for several organizations speaking on topics such as leadership, education, youth advocacy, and self care. She has been featured on the Today Show and Ellen Show.
In her spare time, Kynnedy enjoys watching K-Dramas, hanging out with friends, and considers herself a 'self-proclaimed' hula hoop champion and foosball master. Kynnedy loves to travel both domestically and internationally. She has visited France, Belgium, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, and Canada. She hopes to visit all seven continents before graduating college.