2019 Women of Achievement
Brittany Nay | May 9, 2019
Sound the trumpets: Next week, 10 outstanding women will be lauded as the 2019 Women of Achievement for their incredible achievements in volunteer leadership across the metro area. Now in its 64th year,Women of Achievement, St. Louis’ longest-running program awarding area women for their volunteerism, will recognize this year’s class during its annual awards luncheon at 11:45 a.m. on Tue., May 14, at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis in Clayton.
Jessica Bueler is building bridges to a better St. Louis.
“When I was 8 years old, my mother walked out on our family and left me and my three little sisters to be raised by my father,” Bueler says. “I promised myself when I grew up, I would do everything in my power to help other people who had also been abandoned because I didn’t want others to hurt in the same ways I did.”
To be this pillar of strength for the vulnerable, Bueler founded Welcome Neighbor STL, an organization assisting immigrants and refugees. “When I learned about the situation with the Syrian refugee families being dumped in filthy apartments with cockroaches, mice and bedbugs, along with a plethora of other problems, I snapped into action to do everything I could to help connect our new American friends with the resources and tools to build a better life,” Bueler says.
Made up of 1,500 volunteers, Welcome Neighbor STL helps refugees with everyday tasks, such as scheduling doctor appointments and navigating school systems, and has raised funds to move the families to better housing.
Bueler also has spearheaded the creation of educational and entrepreneurial classes for immigrants to help them start businesses that directly contribute to the St. Louis economy.
“In such divisive times, Welcome Neighbor STL focuses on building bridges for people to find commonalities with individuals different from ourselves, regardless of nationality, religion or race,” Bueler says. “We focus on something much more vital; we are all part of the human race.”