Peace Fingers

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Our Team

Anna-Stacia Allen – Executive Director

Originally from Toledo, Ohio and a graduate of The Ohio State University Anna-Stacia has spent her career working in non-profit and education-based organizations. She returns back to the St. Louis area extremely passionate about helping to provide equitable access to education for all families. 

Catherine Baez – Director of Family and School Support

Catherine a Native New Yorker, spent over two decades teaching and leading schools in some of the most under-resourced communities within New York City. Launching her career in Early Childhood Development, Special Education, and incorporating Drama Therapy, she is committed to fostering relationships with School Leaders, empowering St. Louis Students and Families in navigating the school system for the city she now calls home!

Rachel Nevels – Communications & Development Director

Rachel Nevels is a storyteller, and global professional with a diverse background in marketing and communications. Throughout her career, Rachel has used her innate gifts of writing, socializing, and creating experiences to add value to brands, and ultimately their clients. Rachel’s genius is being able to immerse herself in the mission of a brand and paint that picture from the inside out. From small businesses to large charitable foundations, Rachel’s mission through her ever evolving work is to empower people to live full and authentic lives.

School & Community Navigators

Tiara Weaver – School & Community Navigator, North City

Tiara is a St. Louis native. She grew up, was educated, and now lives in St. Louis City. She is passionate about building relationships and serving others. Tiara has 5 years of classroom experience as well as administrative leadership. She brings to Navigate a rich and dynamic work history and desire to improve the community around her.

Darius Washington – School & Community Navigator, South City

Darius Derrell Washington graduated from Harris-Stowe State University with a degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Marketing.

During his Harris-Stowe career, Darius was involved in his community through Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated and The Village Mentorship program. He is a Kansas City native who strongly desires to improve the community. A passage from the poem “Don’t Quit” defines him as a person.

“Success is failure turned inside out, The silver tint of the clouds of doubt, And you never can tell how close you are, It may be near when it seems so far; So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit – It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.”

“I am excited to serve you all as your South City Navigator.”

Samantha Pipkin – School & Community Navigator, Early Childhood Education

For the last 14 years Samantha has served children, families, and teachers. She has taught and led early childhood facilities in best practices. Her focus has been on ensuring the whole child’s needs are met and creating collaboration with teachers and families. She holds a Bachelors in Psychology, as well as a Master of Teaching degree from Columbia College. Samantha is a lifelong learner and is currently working toward a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of UMSL.

Board Members

Christopher Geden

I like to believe that I’m an outcome-based leader who tries to understand and help the youth, families, and communities in which we serve. Through engagement, whether it be at the Tower Grove Farmer’s Market or at a recreation center.

Dr. Courtney Belfor

Dr. Courtney Belfor is a distinguished educator with over ten years of
experience. Her lifelong dedication to student achievement is what makes her
an iconic symbol in education.

“I consider it an honor and privilege to work with children and their families.
My mission is to inspire, encourage, and assist all children in reaching their
full academic potential. Most emphatically, it is my personal belief that this is
done through a team effort comprised of family, school, and community. This
is the path that will enable us to support today’s youth.”

Dr. Belfor’s dedication to the impact theory, equity, excellence, and inclusion
in our schools is what sets her apart from others. This desire is consumed by
her thought that “students will make their own positive and lasting impact in
our world.”

Dr. Belfor earned her BS in Business Administration from Southern Illinois
University Edwardsville (SIUE), MA in School and Professional Counseling
from Lindenwood University, MA in Education Administration from
Lindenwood University, and an Ed.D in Educational Leadership from
Maryville University. She currently serves as a Guidance Counselor in Saint
Louis Public Schools.