By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media  

VINELANDKelly Cornish wants people to normalize conversations around mental illness.  

The longtime educator and therapist said the stigma around mental illness, particularly in the African American community, often keeps individuals from getting the help they need.  

“I want people to know they are not alone and should not be stigmatized for needing someone to hear them without judgment,” Cornish told Front Runner New Jersey. “Sometimes all we need is a conversation to help figure life out. It takes courage to discuss our situations and traumas and we should not feel ashamed.”  

Cornish shared a similar message recently in Ocean City during its Juneteenth celebration at the Eighth Street Recreation Center. She established her own company, Three Eighteen, LLC, to reach more people.  

Whether it’s in a classroom, the privacy of an office or during a festival, Cornish wants to reach people where they are. Cornish shared more about her business and services in FRNJ’s Five Questions Profile.

The Kelly Cornish File  

Name: Dr. Kelly L. Cornish

Name of Business:  Three Eighteen, LLC  

Years in business: Five years. Established in 2018 and expanded in 2023 to incorporate therapeutic services. 

Specialize in: Mental health and healthy coping skills by providing therapy, training, workshops, motivational speaking, consultations.

Contact info:;;  856-265-0420

5 Questions

1. FRNJ: What made you become a business owner?

Kelly Cornish: There are a couple of reasons I became a business owner. First, I initially needed a foundation to refer people to when I would get requested to engage in an event. As I continued with my education and new opportunities opened for me, it felt right to expand the business and make it fully operational. As I am approaching retirement from the public school system, it was important for me to strengthen the foundation for the next chapter of my life, so I went for it!    

2. FRNJ: Why did you select your current field?

Kelly Cornish: I think my current field picked me! I have been sowing into and helping people for as long as I can remember.  It is who I am, my purpose, my assignment. My undergraduate degree is in social work and I accidentally fell into education. During my teaching tenure, I began doing master’s level counseling and decided to obtain my license. I found there are many similarities between education and counseling, so I intertwined them. I am a natural teacher and encourager and I love to empower people. I get excited to witness people’s growth and see the ‘ah ha’ moments. I believe this is why I have been successful in education and therapy.   

3. FRNJ: What do you enjoy the most about being a business owner?
Kelly Cornish: I love the autonomy of being a business owner and the excitement of seeing success.  The expansion to my own practice was scary, but it made sense. The business gives me hope for my future and will allow me to continue my quest to evoke positive change in the lives of others. My mission is to encourage and empower others to evolve through education and enlightenment.   

4. FRNJ: How important is it for you to have positive African American role models in business?

Kelly Cornish: I stand in awe when I see positive African American business owners. They encourage and inspire me to work harder for success. They show me and others that it is possible to dream, create, and implement. Without those before me, I do not think I would be as confident in my endeavors. What would there be to emulate from a shared perspective of the African American experience? It is an honor for African Americans to thrive in business.   

5. FRNJ: Anything else would you like to add?

Kelly Cornish: I want to challenge everyone to normalize the conversation about mental health because what we see, think, and feel impacts how we function. I want people to know they are not alone and should not be stigmatized for needing someone to hear them without judgment. Sometimes all we need is a conversation to help us figure life out. It takes courage to discuss our situations and traumas and we should not feel ashamed. Life is hard, but we can navigate it together. I encourage everyone to go get what they need while being unapologetically unbothered! 

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