Congratulations to the Summer 2021 Starkloff Career Academy Graduates!

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To meet demand, our highly-successful Starkloff Career Academy added a third session. Joined by the SDI Board, staff, and supporters, the new summer class celebrated their achievement at an exuberant graduation ceremony earlier this month!
The virtual format allows SDI’s expert staff to connect with candidates beyond the St. Louis region and empower professionals with disabilities across the globe.

Congratulations to our Summer 2021 Career Academy graduates!


Bryan Alkire, J.D.


Kelly Bayer has a Bachelor’s degree in Photography from Webster College and is a direct support professional for St. Louis Arc. For 8 years, Kelly has worked in group homes supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities and is currently pursuing a position as an Associate Manager.


Sean Borah graduated in May from Webster University with a degree in Management and Marketing and is a cofounder of the St. Louis Blues Blind Hockey League. His goal is to find a career in marketing.


Megan Bywater is a junior at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, studying music therapy with a minor in religion and leadership. Since her sophomore year of high school, Megan has spent her summer breaks working at her family’s commercial printing and advertising business in Iowa City. After graduation, she would like to find a job at a nursing home, hospital, or hospice care facility.


Trevor Friedlein has an associate’s degree in accounting from Northeast Iowa Community College. Trevor has worked for a certified public accountant processing and entering client tax information. He also acts as score keeper for local golf tournaments. Trevor plans to pursue his bachelor’s degree and start a career in accounting.


Sorinna Griffin’s list of credentials is impressive. She has a BS in Health Management from Ohio State University, a Masters in Public Health from the University of Toledo, a Masters Certificate in Six Sigma from Villanova University, a Masters of Business Administration from Baldwin-Wallace University, a J.D. from Western Michigan University Cooley Law, and is currently pursuing a Masters of Law in Taxation at the Washington University School of Law. Sorinna says her ideal career is helping people start and manage their own small businesses.


Weston Helgerson is a junior at Warburg College in Waverly, Iowa majoring in Psychology with a minor in Leadership. He also has two and a half years of customer service and leadership experience from his job with Kwik Trip. Weston plans to eventually pursue a masters degree and become a clinical psychologist or social worker. He also plans to pursue other degrees in automotive mechanics, business, music therapy, and entrepreneurship.


Annette Marine Hintz is an HR specialist in training and development with more than 25 years of experience including 5 years in Japan.  As founder of the Hintz on Training and Management consulting firm, Annette Marie has led team problem solving initiatives at dozens of firms and designed and delivered classes on topics including racial and gender equality. Annette Marie’s goal is to find a permanent position in training and development, human resources, or diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Onika Martin is currently pursuing her degree in Management Information Systems at the Rochester Institute of Technology. In May, she earned a co-op with OhioHealth as an Associate in the IS Corporate System Team. Her goal is to graduate with her BS in MIS in 2023.


Alexis Miller has a bachelor’s of science in Engineering from the University of Iowa. As the engineering anchor for an undergraduate biomedical think-tank, she led her team in developing a device that eliminated the need for painful sternotomies, which Google tells me are surgical incisions in the sternum, during pacemaker lead placement. After graduating, she served as a researcher at the Cedars-Sinai Hospital System in Las Angeles and now hopes to bring her experiences and medical and engineering background to a position as an engineer in the pharmaceutical industry.


Noah Otte graduated from Webster University Summa Cum Laude with a BA in History. Noah worked as an administrative assistant at Webster University’s Department of Academic Affairs. Currently, he works at Dierberg’s Markets. Noah’s goal is to begin a career in library science, museums or archiving.


Garrett Tung is a recent graduate from Purdue University Global where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance. Garrett’s hope is to work as a Financial Analyst for a fortune 500 company from Cincinnati. He is a huge Cincinnati Reds fan and enjoys watching them play almost every day. He also recently began a Master’s program in Business Administration.


Katherine “Katie” West is a recent Lindenwood University graduate with a degree in environmental biology. She’s had multiple internship and volunteer experiences at zoos and wildlife facilities including her current internship at the Endangered Wolf Center. Her ultimate goal is to obtain a full-time zookeeping position.


If you’d like to connect with any of our grads, check out their linked LinkedIn profiles [linked at their names above] or email Jason Hartsfield at jhartsfield@starkloff.org. If you’re a professional with a disability who wants to advance or launch their careers, we’re accepting applicants for our Spring 2022 course. Learn more at www.starkloffworks.org.

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