Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


SU Graduate, Grandmother Compete in ‘The Amazing Race’

  • News Image
    Shannon Foster (right) and her grandmother, Jody Kelly.
  • News Image
    Shannon Foster and her grandmother, Jody Kelly, are one of 11 teams participating in the 16th season of The Amazing Race.

2009 graduate Shannon Foster was one of the youngest contestants in the show’s history

A Southwestern graduate and her grandmother were among the teams competing in the 16th season of CBS’ “The Amazing Race.”

Shannon Foster graduated from Southwestern last May with a degree in economics. She currently lives in Anchorage, Alaska, and is a health care outreach contract analyst. Her grandmother, Jody Kelly, lives in Round Rock and is a personal trainer for the elderly and people with disabilities. 

“After my mom, grandmother and I completed a triathlon together in Austin, we were approached about auditioning for the show,” Foster said. “They thought we would be good fit for it.”  

Foster and Kelly decided to compete in the show together because of their love for traveling. During her time at Southwestern, Foster studied abroad in China. She also lived in Saudi Arabia for almost 10 years when she was a child.   

“I have always had the traveling bug,” Foster said. “My grandmother and I share that passion and doing this together was that new adventure we were both looking for.”

The Amazing Race is a reality television game show where teams of two race around the world competing against other teams for a grand prize of $1 million. The teams attempt to be the first at every “pit stop” in order to win prizes and avoid elimination. The last team to make it to the pit stop is up for elimination. When there are three teams left, they race one last time and the first one to the pit stop wins the $1 million. 

This 16th edition of The Amazing Race spans 40,000 miles, five continents and eight countries.  Foster and Kelly are one of 11 teams competing this season. Foster is one of the youngest participants to ever have competed on The Amazing Race and Kelly is the oldest contender in the show’s history. The show airs Sundays at 8 p.m. Eastern on the CBS network.

Foster and Kelly survived the first leg of the race, but were eliminated in the second leg.

Kelly set up a Facebook group for the team at

                                                                                                             − Reese Cisneros ’10