Kelvin Richards


Kelvin Richards is a Public Defender with the Legal Aid Society in Staten Island. An attorney that represents indigent people and fights to protect their constitutional rights. Kelvin's motivation to improve the lives of others around him started when he was ten years old on a refugee camp in Ghana, when he and his family fled the Liberian Civil War. The horrors of the civil war and the passionate work of the United Nations volunteers intrigued him. Kelvin attended the College of Staten Island. There, he worked at night and attended classes during the day, earning a bachelor’s degree in International Relations in 2008. He later earned a Jurist Doctorate (JD) degree in law from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul Minnesota in 2012.

Kelvin has demonstrated a strong passion for public service throughout his life. In college, he volunteered as a Student-Teacher at Curtis High School, mentoring and teaching youths and tracking their academic progress through his mentorship. Today, he still visits Curtis High School and participates in their summer "Know Your Rights" program that teaches youths how to react and behave when they have an encounter with the police. Kelvin also served as the Staten Island Liberian Community's (SILCA) youngest Vice President and lead the efforts to fight Ebola in West Africa. He also headed two community petitions. One petition with over 700 signatures to bring speed bumps on Park Hill, which are currently installed, and the other petition with over 600 signatures to install turf on the Stapleton playground, which is currently underway. Kelvin then created the "Free Tax Drive," where he helped numerous people throughout Staten Island file their taxes for free. Kelvin currently volunteers with Project Hospitality in their Soup Kitchen on Bay Street, serving hot meals to the community.

At leisure, he enjoys playing soccer and mentoring youths with his wife, Dr. Thelca Richards, one of the community's leading young medical doctors. He currently lives in New Brighton with Thecla, their daughter Malia, and son Prime.