Channing Kennedy Bethke, a native of Athens, Alabama, graduated magna cum laude from Birmingham-Southern College in May 2009 with a B.A. in history and political Science and a Distinction in Leadership Studies.

At Birmingham-Southern, Channing served as Editor-in-Chief of the Compass, a student journal of leadership and service, a House Director and Resident Advisor for the BSC Office of Residence Life, and an Executive Board Member of Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women and the campus Panhellenic Council. While at BSC, Channing was a Harrison Honors Scholar and was inducted into numerous academic honor societies, including Phi Beta Kappa. In 2008, Channing was selected as a Hess Fellows intern and spent the summer working as a Domestic Policy Intern for Bread for the World, a grassroots advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. that addresses issues of hunger and poverty both domestically and internationally. Before beginning work at Impact in January of 2010, Channing worked as a program assistant for the Hess Fellows program in the Hess Center for Leadership and Service at Birmingham-Southern College.