SJ Stephens is a St. Louis native from the West side of St. Louis City by way of Berkeley and is easily known as, "the lady with the big laugh." Very rarely will you ever find her frowning and her laughter is absolutely infectious. SJ is a mother and could easily be classified as the quintessential boy mom. She enjoys traveling (especially road trips), writing, reading, cooking and all things outdoors.
SJ obtained her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (2007) from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and her Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration (2009) from Lindenwood University. In 2010, she joined and graduated from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Academy and served in the capacity of a St. Louis City, 7th District Police Officer for 3 years.
Over time, SJ discovered her true passion; helping people.Soon thereafter, she switched career paths and began working for a human services organization. After a couple of years, SJ felt as though she had fallen into a professional rut. Although she loved her career and the company she worked for, there was no growth potential. So in November 2017, she stepped out on faith and applied for a Director position for a well known nonprofit organization and hasnt looked back since. She has served in leadership positions with 2 additional non-profit organizations and consulted with dozens.
In April 2020, SJ was fired in the midst of the pandemic with no notice. It was at that moment she realized she could no longer live solely dependent on one source of income. Throughout her experience in nonprofit leadership SJ had experience with grant writing, reporting, reviewing and evaluation so she quickly put those skills to use and formed SJS. Business Building and More. Since that time she has serviced clients in 26 states, 2 countries and helped secure over 1 million dollars in funding.
November 2020, SJ launched a merchandise line under her moniker, Big Jiz and became a self-published author when she released, Business Affirmations for Bosses. In December of that same year she co-authored her 2nd book, Blacks in Nonprofit: The Grant Writers Edition.
March 2021, SJ shifted her focus to education and launched SJ Stephens Grant Writing Academy, recognizing that the clients she serviced simply couldn't afford to pay for a grant writer every time they were in need; they needed to know how to fund their businesses on their own. As of December 2021, SJ has graduated 21 students in 5 states.
April 2021 she launched her first set of blogs which have been viewed over 15,000 times and published the best selling Urban novel, The Uglier Side of The Truth . She is also the Curator of a two part series on the power of healing through transparency titled, The Anthology of US: Through Her Eyes and Through His Eyes.
In December 2021 SJ launched a 12 week book writing academy; she currently has 13 students enrolled.
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