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Shawntelle Fisher

Shawntelle Fisher stands in one of the school cafeterias where her organization's after school tutoring program takes place

Shawntelle Fisher

Title: Founder and CEO, The SoulFisher Ministries

Program: Communications

Years Attended: 2012–2013

Attending community college transformed Shawntelle's life and set her on a path to success, including earning seven degrees from STLCC and other area institutions. Now, she's using what she's learned to transform and support the community through her non-profit organization, The SoulFisher Ministries.

Q&A with Shawntelle

Q: What degree did you earn at STLCC?

A: I graduated in May 2013 with an Associate of Arts in Communications with an emphasis in Broadcasting.

Q: What are you doing career-wise now, and what does your position entail?

A: I am the founder/CEO of The SoulFisher Ministries. I lead the organization and am responsible for most of the fundraising. 

Q: What is your favorite thing about your current role?

A: My favorite thing about my role is being part of a team that is impacting lives in meaningful ways. 

Q: How did your life journey lead you to where you are today? 

A: I was in and out of jail for more than 20 years before I gave my life to Christ on June 9, 2006, while in the St. Louis County jail—my life transformed in that moment. I earned degrees from STLCC and other institutions so I could ultimately help children, like my daughter, who were impacted by the absence of a parent due to incarceration.

Shawntelle works with a child in the after school program

I started The SoulFisher Ministries in 2012 as a class project. The organization's motto is, "Restoration is Possible, Success is Real." Our mission is to respond to the needs of youth with incarcerated parents and to promote restorative justice for those currently or formerly incarcerated. 

Q: How would you say your chosen career path is “transforming” the community?

A: The children and families who connect with the ministry find acceptance, support and success. There is nothing like someone, who is afraid, insecure and possibly feeling hopeless because of the situation they are in, hear someone else say, "I have been right where you are." It makes them feel normal and assures them that where they are doesn't have to be where they stay. 

Q: What led you to take classes at STLCC? 

A: I didn't know if I would be accepted into college because of my criminal record, but I didn't let that stop me from trying. I called STLCC-Florissant Valley from prison, and Professor Steve Bai took the call. His desire to support me without even knowing me meant so much. His words, "I'm less concerned about where you've been and more concerned about where you're going," were transformative for me and made me want to join the STLCC family. 

Q: How did STLCC support and prepare you for where you are today?

A: Earning a degree in communications was excellent preparation for what I do now. Communication is important in countless ways. I am comfortable speaking to the media and connecting with all sorts of people as founder and CEO of the organization.

STLCC also supported me by offering opportunities such as my invitation and induction into Phi Theta Kappa. I received the All-Missouri Academic scholarship through this organization, which awarded me a full-tuition scholarship to the University of Missouri-St. Louis. 

Q: What was your favorite thing about attending STLCC? 

A: I enjoyed being involved with the College's radio station, KCFV-FM The Wave. I appreciated the opportunity to try my hand at radio as a student, including my own program. I also enjoyed being involved with student government and the Global Classroom club, which allowed me to travel to Italy as part of a study abroad trip. Lastly, I was a part of the student group that started the NOOK as part of a campus-wide approach to learning what students wanted at Florissant Valley. These fantastic opportunities have helped shape the community leader and advocate I am today. 

Q: Do you have a memorable class or professor you’d like to shout out?

A: Professor Steve Bai could have hung up the phone when I called, but instead, he showed compassion and genuine interest in helping me get from federal prison to the future I wanted for myself. He had no idea where that call would lead; he simply cared. I completed the two-year degree program in one year. I'm confident God knew I needed someone compassionate to be on the other side of the receiver and offer me restoration. Because of Professor Bai and STLCC, I can now provide that same restoration to so many others through The SoulFisher Ministries. 

Q: What advice would you give someone considering your career path?

A: Work hard but stay focused on your goals so you are continually moving in the right direction. Serving people is meaningful work, but it can also be draining. Take time to replenish yourself and set boundaries so you can continue to support others. So many people need the hope that you represent and provide. 

Q: What would you say to students considering community college?

A: Stop making excuses and apply! I wouldn’t be in the position that I am in today if I let being in prison or being a mother at a young age get in the way of my education. 


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Complete a transferable associate of arts degree and choose from an area of focus in communications or mass communications. 

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