Associate Director of Student Life
Kelly Nunn, a San Juan Capistrano native, has a deep passion for helping our youth uncover their purpose and lead as authentic, Christ-centered leaders. Kelly comes to Pacifica with a depth of experience working with teens and young adults. Whether it’s teaching in the classroom, coaching on the field/court, or leading—well, just about anywhere—Kelly uses her God-given gifts of empathy, authenticity, vulnerability, and communication to create connections that undeniably guide youth to think and live well!
Kelly has a Master of Arts in Leadership Development (MLD) from Chapman University, where she currently teaches as an Adjunct Professor and was named Educator of the Year (‘19-’20) in the Leadership Studies Minor, in the Attallah College of Educational Studies. During her studies in the MLD, Kelly further developed an organization for adolescent girls in athletics and activities, called One Degree Leadership. As Founder and Director of One Degree Leadership, Kelly facilitates workshops and mentoring sessions for teenage girls, collectively and individually. For several years, Kelly has also worked with a leadership development company that provides programs and camps for middle school and high school student leadership groups throughout the year.
The journey into leadership development began through athletics, which is another passion that Kelly uses to inspire young athletes to be their best on and off the field/court. Kelly went on to play collegiate soccer at nationally ranked Cypress College and San Jose State University, where she earned a B.S. in Public Relations with a minor in Marketing. Kelly lived and breathed the beautiful game, so much so that she traveled with the US National Team to South Korea for the 2002 World Cup. That incredible experience led her to explore working in the business of soccer.
Kelly used her degree to work in Major League Soccer for a short time, but felt called to be out on the pitch more full-time after she was asked to coach club soccer and quickly fell in love with coaching young girls. Moreover, Kelly discovered she could marry the incredible passion she had for soccer and helping young people learn and grow. From an outsider’s perspective, this wasn’t that far-fetched as she was named “Most Inspirational” all through high school sports and college soccer. But, for Kelly, it was a journey to realize what her purpose was.
It wasn’t until Kelly found a relationship with Jesus Christ that she discovered that coaching can be a ministry, which started the process of uncovering her own purpose in the space of youth development. After nearly a decade of coaching youth club and high school soccer, Kelly started to realize the deeper motive behind coaching and her love for helping female athletes find their voices and courage on and off the field. When the Lord led Kelly to coach at a soccer/leadership development summer camp she found an incredible sense of purpose and a new passion emerged. It was shortly after when the Lord led Kelly to start One Degree Leadership.
Concurrently as One Degree Leadership grew, opportunities arose for Kelly to work with others on developing very successful high school and college leadership curricula. Kelly worked closely with an ASB Advisor, in Washington, to create a Leadership 101 class designed to give every student an opportunity to recognize and use their leadership abilities, not just those in leadership. Also, Kelly developed a course called “Leader as Teacher and Coach”, for Chapman University, which shows students that leaders, teachers, and coaches are most successful when they do from a place of authenticity and humility, creating spaces for people to feel seen, heard and loved. In turn, Kelly has been able to share the light and love of Christ with the secular world in some of the most formative environments of a young person’s life.
Kelly’s life though isn’t just all about leadership and soccer. She deeply enjoys spending time with her family and friends. As an extrovert, Kelly lives for being around people and having conversations. She owns her own bowling shoes if you want to challenge her to a game! She loves animals and just adopted two kittens, who are wild and crazy sisters that look nothing alike. Kelly loves a great Chai Tea Latte- all day, every day! Kelly has a deep competitive spirit in sports and loves playing baseball (she even played with the boys as a kid). She is a lover of the idea of reading and wishes she read more, so she has adapted to listening to books and loves fun and insightful podcasts. Kelly loves learning, feeling the world, and holding the tension of paradoxes that maybe others would shy away from. On her desk you’ll find some kind of plant, as she loves life; her favorite symbol, the AND sign (&) (ASK her why… there’s a cool story behind it!); and many inspirational quotes and words everywhere she goes, because what is life without some inspiration… & Jesus?! (See what we did there?!)
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