Stephanie Kilstein Krauss, a 2004 graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University who now serves as president and chief executive officer of the Shearwater Education Foundation, will receive the Young Alumna Award during Homecoming this week.
At age 15, Krauss dropped out of high school. Seven years later, this experience coupled with her college and post-collegiate experiences, influenced the founding of Shearwater High School, a college-preparatory public charter school serving disconnected and dropout youth ages 17-21 in St. Louis, Mo.
Over the past few years, Krauss has raised more than $3 million in financial and in-kind contributions to support the planning and start-up of the school, which opened in 2010. Today, she is president and CEO of Shearwater Education Foundation, an organization that aims to lead policy change and program design efforts that positively impact the education of disconnected youth, which includes supporting the growth and development of Shearwater High School.
Throughout her career, Krauss has held positions of leadership in teaching and social work. She served as a residential advisor for Thomas Jefferson School, researcher for a St. Louis-based child advocacy organization and program evaluator for Alliance for Building Capacity (a center of Washington University), all in St. Louis. She also taught fifth grade at Dysart Elementary School in Phoenix, Ariz., as part of Teach For America, a national movement that places teachers in high-poverty urban and rural communities throughout the U.S.
Krauss has worked with, and published articles on, disconnected youth across the globe. She serves as a member of the St. Louis Regional College Access Pipeline Project and as an advisory board member of Preferred Family Healthcare. Krauss formerly served on the Teach for America Faith-based Initiative in St. Louis and the City of St. Louis Mayoral Youth Development Task Force and Advisory Board. She also was a participant of the China Institute on Social Inclusion and Poverty in Hong Kong and Kunming, China, and a primary teacher trainer for Children of the Nations in Lilongwe, Malawi.
While at PBA, Krauss was a residence assistant, a student assistant for Student Development and led a mission trip to Avon Park Juvenile Detention Center. She also assisted at a drug and alcohol treatment center for girls.
She received the Outstanding Graduate Award from PBA’s School of Education and Behavioral Studies. After earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology from PBA, Krauss went on to receive her master’s degree in education from Arizona State University and a master’s degree in social work from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2010, she was recognized as one of the St. Louis Business Journal’s "30 under 30."
Krauss will be recognized during a Homecoming dinner and alumni awards presentation at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, in the Weyenberg Center in the Lassiter Student Center.