Sha'Neco Fennoy, Program Manager
Sha’Neco Fennoy, an epidemiologist, has decades of experience in public health, with a focus on public administration, communications, and community advocacy. Her broad range of experiences include program development, community board advisory roles and cultural competency programs within international and domestic settings. Fennoy participates in various community health initiatives through Washington University, and has also been involved in government sector projects in Kuwait, Iraq and Dubai. Prior to becoming program manager for Raising St. Louis in 2017, she was an assistant director for Youth, Family and Clinical Services for Better Family Life, Incorporated, where she developed public health initiatives and programs for some of the most underserved communities in St. Louis and the Metro East.
A graduate of Grambling State University with a degree in kinesiology, she holds master degrees in public health and public administration from Texas Southern University. Her specific interest is in family and child health inequities and how social support and their networks could be employed to improve these disparities.
Joelle Blakley, Parent Educator Supervisor
Joelle Blakley earned a master’s degree in social work from Washington University, and a bachelor’s in human development and family science from the University of Missouri. Her focus on the well-being of children and their families has also included researching family structures within minority populations. Raising St. Louis programs align with her interests to improve the social, psychological, and biological development of young children. Future goals are to not only write literature about family dynamics, but also develop her own school to increase academic achievements and the social and economic successes of low-income minority families.
Chastity Perry Smith, MHRM, Supervisor, Raising St. Louis
Chastity Perry Smith brings to her Raising St. Louis supervisory role more than 15 years in academia. She served seven years as director of Career Services for Brown Mackie College, where she specialized in adult learning, career development, enrollment, admissions and student services. Smith worked as a nursing/admissions advisor for St. Louis Community College-Forest Park and was subsequently promoted to continuing education planner for the STLCC Corporate College.
For her own academic background, Smith received a sociology degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She later earned a Master of Education from Strayer University and a Master of Human Resource Management from Argosy University. Her interests have driven her focus on helping families overcome barriers to educational resources, job readiness and employment to help address some of the disparities that plague under-served communities. Her passion for health and wellness led her to become a fitness instructor who teaches healthy living to individuals, for community-based organizations and for the Move by BJC HealthCare fitness center.
Nickie Chapman, Parent Educator
Nickie Chapman has worked in childcare for 15 years, as a director in a childcare center, a lead teacher and a teacher assistance with the YWCA Head Start program. She has also worked as a lead teacher at Grace Hill Head Start. Working with children is her passion. “Now that I have put so much time in working with children, I thought I would take a step back and give some time to helping parents understand the importance of child development,” she said. She holds a bachelor degree in child development and a Master of Education degree. She began working with Raising St. Louis on November 28, 2016.
Rachel Cramsey, Social Worker
Rachel Cramsey moved to St. Louis from Quincy, Illinois, to attend graduate school and found a new home and a career that sustains her. She earned a Master of Social Work Degree from Saint Louis University in 2011 and a clinical social work license in 2015. From 2012-2015, she was a trauma and transplant social worker at Barnes-Jewish Hospital before taking a job serving families impacted by addiction and incarceration. She was hired as a social worker for Raising St. Louis in September 2019. Cramsey says she enjoys the team and community-based structure of the program which allows for a better opportunity to know and work one-on-one with families. The program’s in-home visits (or another client preferred location) enhances relationship-building, which is a key to success, she says. “With so many demands, I can give the parent a safe space to share their struggles and focus on them for just a bit.” Offering stress management and mental health support is a critical component of the program. When not working, Cramsey enjoys running, traveling, spending time with friends and family, and cheering on the U.S. women’s national soccer team.
Christopher Deloch, Community Health Worker
Christopher “Chris” Deloch joined the Raising St. Louis team as a Community Health Worker in February 2020. He is excited to contribute to the program’s mission that addresses the social determinant of health, which are conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. Factors like socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood and physical environment, employment, and social support networks, as well as access to health care, play major roles in a family’s quality of life. After four years working as a psychiatric technician at Hawthorn’s Childrens Psychiatric Hospital, he saw first-hand the difficulties vulnerable families face and the plight of clients who suffer from mental health illnesses. He also previously volunteered as a teacher’s aide at Pagedale Head Start. His passion for supporting youth is a driving force for a future endeavor to open an afterschool program to help young people achieve academic success and gain life skills. “I would love to make a difference in a kid’s life, in a major or minor way,” he says.
Richard “Ricky” Hughes, Community Health Worker
Richard “Ricky” Hughes joined the Raising St. Louis team in March 2019. He brings more than five years of experience as a community engagement specialist, teen pregnancy educator, and after-school lead in the Normandy and Saint Louis Public Schools districts. As a St. Louis native, he knows first-hand the economic and social conditions that affect disparities in health care. These realities inspire his mission and drive to serve the community in ways that will improve access to resources and to better health care. He is studying organizational leadership and technology at Saint Louis University. In his spare time, he enjoys creative outlets such as videography, music, and relishes spending time with his wife and three children.
Brianna Johnson, Parent Educator
Brianna Johnson joined the Raising St. Louis team as a Parent Educator in January 2021. She was most recently a lead teacher at a Montessori preschool in St. Louis. Along with her passion for working with children, she is excited about how her Raising St. Louis role will help parents gain the knowledge and tools needed to be their child’s best teacher. She holds a bachelor’s degree in child development and education from the University of Missouri. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring nature, reading, and spending time with her family.
Gena Stringer, Community Health Worker
Gena Stringer was first introduced to the Raising St. Louis program as a client; and thereby, knows first-hand the level of support the program can offer mothers, children and the whole family unit. She now brings that knowledge as a Community Health Worker to help other families. Stringer has an earned educational psychology degree from Lincoln University; she is pursuing a master’s in public administration from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Her work experiences include lead teacher for the YMCA Child Development Center in Jefferson City, Missouri; student support worker for the Pattonville School District’s Early Childhood Program; and most recently, foster care manager for Epworth Children and Family Services. She says she'll use her decade of experiences to help parents connect with the resources that will give their children better opportunities to excel.
Laurie Watson, Parent Educator
Prior to joining the Raising St. Louis team in 2015, Laurie Watson worked eight years for the SIUE Head Start program as a parent educator in East St. Louis, Illinois. She is a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University with a bachelor’s degree in child development.
Maya Wedlow, Community Health Coordinator
Maya Wedlow joined Raising St. Louis in August 2018 as a Community Health Worker and was promoted to Community Health Coordinator in December 2019. Originally, from Villa Ridge, Missouri, she brings to the position an earned bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in neuroscience from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the program, Wedlow was a therapist for children with autism at Fraser, Minnesota’s nationally recognized provider of autism and early childhood mental health services. At Behavior Solutions, in St. Charles, Mo., she was a registered behavior technician who practiced Applied Behavior Analysis therapies for youth with autism. Wedlow's coordinator role will help ensure the delivery of Raising St. Louis' more holistic approach in helping families reach their goals and bridge health and social disparity gaps.
Steven Williams Jr., Community Health Worker
Steven Williams Jr. is a native St. Louisan who has more than 20 years of experience working with organizations that advance the health, social and economic stability of under-served populations. He has an associate’s degree in early childhood education and joined the Raising St. Louis team in October 2018. He is an accomplished musician and singer who has traveled throughout the country performing in theatrical productions. His greatest accomplishments, he says, are being a husband and father of two beautiful daughters.