The Special Education Foundation Women Leaders is an active women’s group committed to helping children and youth with disabilities. More specifically, to fund special projects that support students with disabilities served by the Special School District of St. Louis County. It was established in 2009 based on guests’ interests at a friend-raiser in how they could help.

Over the years, the Women Leaders have organized various events, including fashion shows, to raise funds in support of special project ideas that support students with disabilities. In May 2023, they successfully utilized the Give STL Day fundraiser to gather resources for the upcoming school year. In addition to private donations, they exceeded their annual goal of raising $10,000.

Each September, the Women Leaders and SEF staff meet with the principals of the Special School District schools including the Juvenile Detention Center and Bridges Program. The principals share insights into their schools’ populations and present their proposed special projects. They seek the Women Leaders for assistance in bringing these projects to life.

For the 2023-2024 school year, $11,255 in funding was approved for the following projects:

  • $1,950 to Ackerman School for the Gentlemen of Distinction and Diamond Divas’ restaurant dining experience and practice
  • $2,000 to Northview High School for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports celebrations with ice cream and video game trucks and help for students to purchase yearbooks
  • $1,700 to Litzsinger School for Afriky Lolo’s drum and dance troupe, as well as student T-shirts for Spring state testing sessions
  • $1,205 to Neuwoehner High School for a weatherproof garden bench spring and production from the Black Rep Theater (funded through the Arts in the Classroom program)
  • $1,500 to Southview School for T-shirts to promote school spirit, a cooking kit, and everyday essentials (funded through the Critical Needs progam)
  • $1,500 to the Juvenile Detention Center for graduation supplies, weekly Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports incentives, and for staff recognition 
  • $2,000 to the Bridges Program for a 2024 Field Day obstacle course, quarterly student incentives and staff appreciation, as well as graduation supplies

See the 2022 funded projects here.

If you or someone you know is passionate about making a difference in the lives of children and youth with disabilities, we invite you to join our dynamic group of Women Leaders. Please contact us at or call (314) 394-7030 for more information. Together, we can continue to positively impact the lives of those we serve.