Rising Star in Community Building: Amanda Colón-Smith

Congratulations to Amanda Colón-Smith, Executive Director of Dutchtown South Community Corporation, winner of our 2018 Rising Star in Community Building Award!

The Rising Star in Community Building Award recognizes an individual who:

  • Demonstrates dedication to and passion for the community building sector.

  • Exhibits leadership, vision, and a commitment to action and results.

  • Shows promising potential to achieve outstanding impact in community building policy, investment, or community change.

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Amanda Colón-Smith currently serves as the Executive Director of Dutchtown South Community Corporation (DSCC), a nonprofit dedicated to serving four neighborhoods in South St. Louis: Dutchtown, Gravois Park, Marine Villa, and Mt. Pleasant. She is a graduate of the Regional Arts Commission’s Community Arts Training program and holds a certificate from NeighborWorks America as a Certified Housing Asset Manager. She received a B.A. in Africana Studies from Cornell University and an M.S. in Special Education from City College, CUNY.

Beginning as a Program Coordinator at DSCC, Amanda managed two years of Community Development Block Grant programs in community engagement and planning, beautification, and public art. In her time at DSCC, she has built the capacity of the organization and secured its first federal grant outside of local Community Development Administration (CDA) funding. Even before taking a leadership role, Amanda secured over $310,000 in funding for housing stabilization and community facilitation activities. She has also increased office support staff by developing partnerships with the Americorps VISTA program, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the AARP Senior Community Service Employment Program.

Amanda led the design of community engagement efforts for the Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods planning process.

Amanda led the design of community engagement efforts for the Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods planning process.

In 2017, Amanda took over leadership of DSCC in a seamless and strong manner. With her steady management, she has strengthened the organization’s internal capacity in fund development, human resources, and partnerships. She led the Community Engagement strategy for the Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods Planning process, which was just awarded funding for implementation through the St. Louis Community Foundation’s InvestSTL inaugural funding round. Amanda has also redefined what it means to be a community development corporation in St. Louis with the launch of a variety of unique, innovative initiatives, such as the EPA-funded “So Fresh, So Clean, So Creative” program. She is an unapologetic advocate for her neighborhoods and their residents and will be a powerful force in the continued growth of the community development sector in St. Louis.


We hope you can join us to celebrate Amanda’s achievements and those of other community partners at our 6th Annual Awards Reception on April 26th!