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Susan Jones is an award-winning passionate, driven and results-oriented professional that cares deeply for her community. Her experience as a social justice activist, elected official, entrepreneur, and mother are what drives her passion to make the world a better place. Susan is the Founder of the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, The Belle Effect. This organization focuses on fighting the issues of homelessness, poverty and illness in the community by providing individuals with professional headshots, makeup, products, life skills workshops and employment opportunities.
Growing up, Susan Jones experienced a lot. One area in particular that served as a spark for her to create change was poverty. As a child, Susan’s family would often times make visits to local shelters to obtain the necessities they needed. One day while watching her mother gather items for her family, Susan decided that if she ever got the chance to give back to her community, she would.
Susan experienced other issues that inspired her work such as making bad financial decisions with credit cards, getting a flat tire and not knowing how to change it, not having a professional headshot available for opportunities, and seeing friends and family die from health issues that could have been avoided. Those past experiences are what inspired Susan to become an Entrepreneur, Professional Makeup Artist, Photographer, School Board Member, Business Executive and community activist which led to her developing, The Belle Effect.
Through The Belle Effect, Jones is not only looking to inspire lives through her own testimony but to ensure that all program participants are equipped with the life skills needed to move forward in their next phase of life.
Chelsea Merta is an attorney, lifelong public servant, and community activist. She previously served as staff attorney for a St. Louis-based legal aid organization, representing and advocating for homeless, indigent, and underserved women in the St. Louis City and County Municipal Court systems.
She serves on the young professionals boards for the Missouri Botanical Garden and was a founding member of the Young Friends of Brightside St. Louis and the St. Louis chapter of the Red Shoe Society. Chelsea is fluent in Spanish & speaks conversational French.
She also has served as a lawyer & consultant for St. Louis-area legislators and policymakers, assisting with drafting legislation for consumer issues, environmental concerns, civil rights, women's rights, and social justice.