About the CHARACTERS
Brittany Ferrell is a St. Louis native and alumna of University of Missouri - St. Louis. Ferrell currently works as a Labor and Delivery nurse and has a passion for providing healthcare services and education. Ferrell dedicated time and passion to the Ferguson Uprising which was a spark for what is now known as the Black Lives Matter Movement. She has organized several protest and radical actions calling people with innate privilege and power to speak up about the inequities and inequalities that exists for black people and people of color in St. Louis, MO. Moving forward, Ferrell remains committed to working for justice and equity for black communities and communities of color in the best way she knows how. As an aspiring Family Nurse Practitioner and Certified Nurse Midwife, Ferrell is planning to apply for a dual degree graduate program for the Fall of 2018 year.
Karina Arango is a proud first-generation college student who graduated from Fontbonne University in 2015, where she was awarded by the President for her advocacy work and the only undergraduate hooded for her service. As the daughter of a mother who once was undocumented, Karina is passionate about immigration reform and educational opportunities for Latino youth. She has advocated throughout Missouri on the importance of equal access to postsecondary opportunities for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and undocumented students. Karina currently works in St. Louis, Missouri in Ritenour School District as a Teacher’s Assistant in the district’s International Welcome Center for immigrant students.
Robert Elam accepted roles as Education Policy Intern and Student Advisor with The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis in 2014. Before joining the Foundation, he worked at St. Louis County Human Services as a Youth Services Specialist. An active community volunteer, Robert spends his spare time providing guidance in life planning, employment, and postsecondary education to young people. Robert attended the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he earned a Bachelor of Social Work, and completed his MSW in 2016.
Karissa Anderson is Manager of Advocacy and Policy Research with The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis and St. Louis Graduates. She manages the education policy intern program and coordinates the Active Advocacy Coalition. Karissa graduated May 2015 with a Masters in Social Work from Saint Louis University and from Southeast Missouri State University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication. She works on policy issues that affect access to higher education – particularly around affordability for low-income, first-generation college students, undocumented students and students of color. Karissa sits on the Community Advisory Board and Policy Advisory board of the Deaconess Foundation. She has testified before numerous commissions and legislative bodies, and has authored a number of editorial pieces.
Amber Overton is a graduate of Saint Louis University with bachelor’s degrees in Social Work and Psychology and a 2015 graduate of the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University with a Master's in Social Work and specialization in Urban Education. Amber works as College Success Manager for Boys Hope Girls Hope International. Recently, she also provided management support to St. Louis Graduate’s High School to College Center, a summer drop-in site for students encountering challenges in the summer after high school graduation. As Senior Education Policy Intern for The Active Advocacy Coalition, Amber researched merit-based financial aid and how to make merit programs more equitable.
Faith Sandler has served as Executive Director of The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis since 1989. From 2009-2015 she also served as founding co-chair of St. Louis Graduates (where she continues on the Steering Committee and is chair of advocacy). Prior to joining the Foundation, she was Executive Director of the Committee on Quality Education, appointed by the federal court to evaluate desegregation programs in non-integrated St. Louis Public Schools. In addition to her responsibilities at the Foundation, Faith has taught nonprofit ethics and accountability at Washington University and served on the board of directors of the Dan Broida/Sigma-Aldrich Scholarship Fund. She currently serves on the Research and Advocacy Advisory Committee of the National Scholarship Providers’ Association and the advisory board of University of Missouri-St. Louis Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program. Her bachelor’s degree is from Johnston College of the University of Redlands and her master’s in cultural anthropology is from Washington University. Faith received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2016.
Derion Tabb grew up in St. Louis. After graduating high school in 2011 as a Business Major, Derion attended Webster University majoring in Public Relations. Ultimately, Derion transferred to the University of Missouri - St. Louis where he attained his Bachelor’s of Arts in Communication in May 2015. Derion worked with several well-known educational non-profit organizations in the region including: The St. Louis Public Schools Foundation, St. Louis Graduates, The Scholarship Foundation and Teach for America. He is currently a Teaching Fellow at Kipp Victory Academy.
Jocelyn Posos attended Missouri State University and graduated in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Spanish. She is currently working at Saint Louis University as a Graduate Assistant, and working on her master’s degree in Social Work. Posos will be graduating in May with an MSW and hopefully continuing to work with students for students within higher education.