Our Spring 2021 Grads Are Ready for Their Next Big Step!

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A man is presenting in front of a class of interested people. He appears to be using ASL to communicate.

Our Starkloff Career Academy Spring 2021 graduates are eager to apply what they learned to search for their dream careers. This year, we want to highlight our grads by showcasing their professional experiences, passions, and the impact they hope to leave on the community through meaningful employment.

We have a wealth of candidates with amazing skills and talents. If you are interested in connecting with any of our candidates, please contact Susan Menhard via email at smenhard@starkloff.org!


Meet our grads

Francis Adams currently lives in Berlin, Germany but hopes to find a job and relocate to America. Francis is a seasoned Researcher and Policy Advocate for Diversity and Inclusion in America, Europe and Africa. His technique brought a positive change to an African indigenous community forced to relocate.

Francis is currently seeking for executive level challenge to promote diversity and inclusion, bringing on board 15+ years of Intercultural Negotiations and Policy Advocacy experiences linked to the UN-SDGs policies exhibited in three continents, including the USA.


Hana Bekele is originally from Ethiopia and currently lives in St. Louis, and just received a Master’s degree in Social Work at Washington University.

Hana is passionate about disability, and her career goal is to help people with disabilities to become empowered and more independent in their day to day lives. Hana seeks a job that will enable her to apply her personal and professional experience in serving people with disabilities.


Huma Chaudhry is a St. Louis native and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Child Advocacy from the University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL).

Huma’s career goal is to help children and adults who have physical and mental disabilities to become effective members of society.


Stephanie Jones is a passionate psychology enthusiast from Palm Coast, Florida. Stephanie holds an Associates of Arts Degree in Psychology. Her ultimate education goal is to obtain a Master’s degree in Communications Sciences and a certification in Speech Language Pathology at the University of Central Florida.

While Stephanie pursues her education, she will continue seeking internship and volunteer opportunities. Eventually, she hopes to work at SSM Health in Rehabilitation Services.


Brenda Guynes Glick holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Brenda has an extensive background in administrative and leadership roles, mostly nonprofit and government organizations. Brenda is pursuing opportunities in policy advocacy for minorities.


Catherine (Catie) Hughes holds an Associates degree in Human Service, and is eager to dive into the many job types within this field. Catie seeks opportunities in a human service organization working directly with children, or in a supportive staff position.


Brian Lock holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Communications. Brian seeks to apply his skills to a sports organization – preferably hockey, football or basketball.


Emma Nation has a work history focused on community radio, journaling, and broadcasting.

It is her passion to educate people, especially our youth, of the enormous value community radio stations can provide to its’ constituents.

Emma’s next step is to complete a proposal, working collaboratively with other human service organizations, for starting capital to complete a unique community radio program she helped design.



Jay Benjamin (Ben) Piper holds a Master of Arts in Native American studies. Ben seeks a significant full-time position in a library or museum to enrich visitors’ experience.


Kurt Schmidt is an architect and developer in Redmond, Washington. Kurt has over 10 years of comprehensive professional experience delivering scalable, effective and cost-conscious data management solutions. He is currently seeking a position where he can continue his work.


Lori Schweer is a northeast Iowa resident and holds a Master’s in Social Work. She has also completed coursework in Wellness and Health Promotion Management. Lori’s work history includes the human services field, as well as in technical writing for an insurance company, and ownership and bookkeeping for my family-owned trucking company.

Lori’s career goals include managing therapy and/or wellness coaching programs, with a focus on telehealth (remote) as well as employee assistance programs and wellness programs provided through insurers’ employee benefit plans.


Margarita Solomon is a St. Louis native with an educational background in social sciences and a B.A. in Spanish from Webster University Margarita has worked for the last decade as a Freelance Spanish Interpreter, Title I Math Specialist, Bilingual Interviewer, and a Customer Service Representative.

As a proud neurodiverse person, Margarita aspires to be a SSD teacher after finishing her M.A.T. in Secondary Education. Due to an onset of a new medical occurrence of her disability, Margarita is onboarding to be a Full-time Remote CSR to educate the public on COVID-19 vaccines to end the pandemic.


James McNeil Livingston Starnes prefers to be called “Mac” and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. James’ self-designated top talents are photo editing, social media, video editing, basic web design.

James’ true passion and skill is photojournalism. Currently, James is pursuing a position in photojournalism. Until then, he will continue working to increase patronage of his studio, Mac Livingston Starnes Productions.


Nancy Stevens holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. Nancy was recently hired as a tracker of the spread of COVID-19.

At the end of this opportunity, Nancy will continue searching for a position in Human Service, preferably working with people from the blind community training groups and individuals how to manage their guide dogs.


Mark Waldschmidt has extensive experience in managing enterprise systems, business systems, and technology organizations in the municipal, state and federal government arenas. Mark has also worked in the private sector, including healthcare, manufacture distribution, and so much more.

Mark seeks to continue the career field in nonprofit, healthcare, or other venues where he can contribute his talents. He is also considering offering his time to guide other jobseekers with disabilities.


Tarika Walton is a St. Louis-raised literary artist with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis on English and creative writing. Tarika is developing an entrepreneurial career centered on her personal and professional life experiences.



Interested in connecting with one or more of our candidates? Contact Susan Menhard via email at smenhard@starkloff.org for more information.

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