Hazelwood East High School Alumni

St. Louis, Missouri (MO)

Alumni Stories

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L. Elaine Sutton Mbionwu

L. Elaine Sutton Mbionwu

Class of 1983

L. Elaine Sutton Mbionwu, CCHP
Southeast ADA Center/Burton Blatt Institute at
Syracuse University College of Law (Atlanta Satellite Office)
Assistant Project Director/Training & Technical Assistance Director

Life Philosophy: Strategic, Creative & Active Engagement
Builds Beloved Communities


Currently, as the Assistant Project Director/Training & Technical Assistance Director, Ms. Sutton Mbionwu is responsible for developing, providing, coordinating, and promoting training, technical assistance, and informational materials for a wide range of audiences on the Americans with Disabilities Act (and related federal legislation), participating on the research team, providing support to the local, state, regional, and national partners, and overseeing the daily operations of a regionally based project in Atlanta, Georgia, covering 8 southeastern states.

In February 2013, Ms. Sutton Mbionwu was notified by Emory University’s MARBL (Manuscript, Archives and Rare Books Library) of their holdings of historical documents and records for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) for the time period covering 1864-2007. Ms. Sutton Mbionwu was informed by Emory University’s human rights historian; Sarah Quigley, manuscript archivist and former SCLC project archivist that correspondence and documents she prepared during her tenure (1991-1996) are part of the SCLC Archives. More specifically, a program proposal she prepared providing recommendations and guidance on the expansion of SCLC’s F.I.T. (Families in Touch Connection program) is actually displayed in the SCLC Exhibition which runs from February 21, 2013 through December 1, 2013. Additionally, documents post her tenure with SCLC covering the periods of 1992-1999 (Georgia Advocacy Office) and 2002 (National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems) are included in the overall collection of SCLC’s historical archive records. See finding aid for collection at http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/90wfs.

Prior to her appointment at the Southeast ADA Center/BBI, Ms. Sutton Mbionwu served in the capacity of Program Manager/Volunteer Administrator with the Single Parent Alliance and Resource Center in which she was tasked with the responsibility of organizational capacity building and resource development through the provision of training, technical assistance, and program development. Ms. Sutton Mbionwu also coordinated and directed the delivery of extensive and substantive direct/indirect services to single parent families.

Ms. Sutton Mbionwu has served as a (DOJ/OJP & OSER) grant reviewer and an independent consultant providing consultative services to numerous community groups concentrating on the emerging field of Reentry which encompasses the provision of training and technical assistance to state and federal agencies as well as community and faith–based organizations on building collaborative partnerships and networks to address the reintegration needs of the formerly incarcerated.

From 2006-2007 she was recruited to serve in the capacity of consultant/subject-matter expert to the Council of State Government on a federally supported project (BJA/DOJ, CFBCI/DOL) to develop a reference guide of suggestions and recommendations titled: Re-Entry Partnerships: A Guide for States & Faith-based/Community Organizations providing community-based service to individuals formerly incarcerated. The guide was released by the Council of State Government in December 2008.

A special interest area of Ms. Sutton Mbionwu's involves family reunification of individuals impacted by the collateral consequences of incarceration. In May 2008, Ms. Sutton Mbionwu graduated from the Executive Faculty Development Program of Morehouse School of Medicine's National Primary Care Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The focus of her studies, during the year long accelerated program, centered on the development of a public health curriculum titled, “Advancing the Development of Healthy Life-Course Outcomes for Single Parent Families”.

Ms. Sutton Mbionwu successfully met the program graduation requirements of the MSM/EFDP with the September 2008 publication of “Parental Engagement: Intervention Strategies for Single Parent Families in Crisis” https://kidslinkcaresestore.com/articles/view/54 by the Child and Family Journal of Ontario Canada in which Ms. Mbionwu served as co-author.

Resulting from her participation in the MSM/EFDP program, Ms. Mbionwu was chosen from a competitive selection process to participate in the 2008 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's New Connections Second Annual Symposium - Academy Health Annual Research Meeting; in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Sutton Mbionwu recently (2007) completed a textbook/reader project in which she was asked by the University of Texas at Arlington and McGraw Hill Publishers/Criminal Justice Division to participate as a contributing author on a book titled “Race, Crime, and the Media”. Ms. Sutton Mbionwu's chapter contribution is titled “Media Framing: The Impact of Public Opinion on the Death Penalty.” The university-level academic reader was released in October 2009.

Ms. Sutton Mbionwu relocated to Atlanta, GA (Norcross) from Washington, DC in late 2004 after serving as the Senior Disability Advocacy Specialist for the National Disability Right Network formerly known as the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems (NAPAS). During Ms. Sutton Mbionwu's 5 years with NDRN, she was tasked with the responsibility of spearheading (through the provision of training, technical assistance, and brokering of expertise within the P&A Network) NDRN's first National Criminal Justice Initiative for a national network of 57 P&As. In 2003, she received her NCCHC (National Commission on Correctional Health Care) designation as a Certified Correctional Healthcare Professions (CCHP) and is currently making application to sit for the Advanced CCHP exam in late 2013.

Ms. Sutton Mbionwu has presented workshops, trainings, and keynote addresses to a wide variety of audiences nationally on issues specific to the criminal justice system as it relates to alternatives to incarceration, conditions of confinement, reentry, and special needs (individuals with disabilities) populations.

Ms. Sutton Mbionwu is the proud parent of a 5th grader. She served for 3 years as the school’s PTA Grant Writer and is currently serving as PTA President and chair of the Georgia State PTA Inclusion Committee with a special emphasis on the special education of students with disabilities and the school-to-prison pipeline.


Recent Grant Funding Awarded

1. Recipient: Nesbit Elementary School – December 2011
Funder: KaBOOM!
Amount: $150,000.00 (Non-cash Award – Funded by DIRECTV)
Purpose: Installation of brand new 10,000 square foot playground for 1800 K-5th grade students. Largest playground built by KaBOOM! in its 15 year history of building playgrounds.

Project Completion Date: April 2012

2. Recipient: Nesbit Elementary School – January 2010
Funder: Lowes Charitable Education Trust Fund
Amount: $5,000
Purpose: Outdoor Landscaping and Beautification Project with Outdoor Classroom
Project Completion Date: May 2010

3. Recipient: Nesbit Elementary School – November 2012
Funder: Kinder Morgan Foundation
Amount: $1,200
Purpose: School-based Extracurricular Academic Clubs
Project Completion Date: Ongoing

4. Recipient: Nesbit Elementary School – January 2013
Funder: Wal-Mart Foundation - $1,000.00
Purpose: School-based Extracurricular Academic Clubs
Project Completion Date: Ongoing

Current Grant Writing Projects

1. Client: Coffee Talk Jazz Radio/Edward B. Bass Gift of Music Foundation
Grant Type: Arts and Education Focus
Location: Long Beach, California
New Client: 12/2013

2. A Step Ahead Learning Center
Grant Type: KaBOOM! Playground
Location: Rex, GA
New Client: 2/2013

Military Alumni

Military High School Alumni

Honoring Our Heroes

This area is dedicated to our alumni that have served or are serving in our armed forces!

Lost Class Rings

Have you lost your Hazelwood East High School class ring? Have you found someone's class ring? Visit our Spartans lost class ring page to search for your class ring or post information about a found ring.

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Happy Holidays!