Shawntelle LaNette Fisher
Master of Social Work/Master of Divinity, Brown School and Eden Theological Seminary, 2018
Shawntelle L. Fisher is an influential leader, speaker, teacher, and dancer who serves with excellence and integrity. Shawntelle became a mother at age 15 and a convicted felon at age 17. After going to prison seven times, she made a decision to become a Christian and allow God to transform her into the person He had created her to be. This transformation led her back to college and to start The SoulFisher Ministries, a nonprofit she now leads under the direction of her board. The mission of The SoulFisher Ministries is to respond to the needs of youth with incarcerated parents and to promote restorative justice for those currently and formerly incarcerated. Nominator Bob Fox writes, “Shawntelle is the embodiment of redemption, transformational change and the potential of those who have experienced the devastating negative impact of incarceration to do good, give back, and transform the lives of others.”
Shawntelle holds both a Bachelor of Educational Studies and a Bachelor of Science in media studies from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She earned dual master’s degrees in social work and divinity from Washington University and Eden Theological Seminary, respectively. She is also a Licensed Master Social Worker. Shawntelle was the founding board president for the Riverview Gardens Education Foundation, is a current board member for the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, and is the current Public Relations Officer for the University of Missouri-St. Louis chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.
Since starting The SoulFisher Ministries in 2012, Shawntelle has raised over $2.5 million in funding to support their work in the St. Louis community. She has also provided numerous workshops on dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, reentry simulations, and trainings with the Missouri Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
In 2020, Shawntelle was recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal in its list of the region’s “Most Influential Business Women.”
Shawntelle has a passion to see lives transformed and restored. Through her own struggles and pitfalls in life, caring members of the community guided her to a path of restoration and possibilities. Through The SoulFisher Ministries, she is spreading hope and empowering others to lead positive, productive, and socially responsible lives.