FBI Honors After-School Program in North St. Louis
|FBI St. Louis December 05, 2013|
ST. LOUIS—Today, Dean C. Bryant, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the FBI St. Louis Division, presented the Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) to Angel Baked at a surprise event. Angel Baked is being honored for engaging and empowering high school students in the Jeff-Vanderlou neighborhood by offering them job opportunities to operate a cookie baking business.
Students, at least 16 years old, apply for the after-school job. In addition to working for a paycheck, students are required to stay in school and to participate in workshops, such as conflict resolution, resume writing, and budgeting. Angel Baked co-founder Gary Meier said, “Last year was the first time since we created Angel Baked six years ago that 100 percent of the student employees continued on to higher education.”
Meier, who was pastor of Saints Teresa and Bridget Church at the time, held neighborhood meetings to discuss the violent crimes plaguing the area. A group of neighborhood youth attended one of the meetings and said they needed jobs. In 2007, Angel Baked was created in response. SAC Bryant said, “Angel Baked is an example of how you don’t have to be a giant corporation or have unlimited funds to make a real impact. This is a creative effort to help solve a community problem.”
For the past five years, the FBI held a national ceremony in Washington, D.C. where the FBI Director personally presented the award to each honoree selected by every FBI field office. The 2013 national ceremony is scheduled for next April.
The DCLA was created in 1990 as the principle means for the FBI to honor individuals or organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs, and violence to help keep America and its kids safe.
Past local DCLA recipients (years not listed did not have a recipient):
- 1990 Joseph Cunningham, former St. Louis Cardinals baseball player
- 1991 Martin Mathews, Pres/CEO/Co-Founder, Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club
- 1993 The late Jean Leible, Neighborhood Activist
- 1995 Pastor Harry Douma, Founder, Camp Penuel
- 2005 Martin Mathews (two-time recipient)
- 2006 Karen Aroesty, Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League
- 2007 Pastor B. T. Rice of New Horizon 7th Day Christian Church
- 2008 The late Dave Sinclair, Chairman & CEO, Dave Sinclair Auto Group
- 2009 Bill Wilkerson, Executive Director, “Reach Out St. Louis!”
- 2010 Dr. Stephen Bander, Bander Center for Medical Business Ethics
- 2011 Anthony Thompson, CEO & Chairman, Kwame Building Group
- 2012 Kimberly Ritter, Nix Conference & Meeting Management