Sharpel Welch is a 2019 Civil Society Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. An Army veteran and educator, Welch is a youth community coordinator at Community Renewal International, a faith-based nonprofit that brings together caring partners to restore the foundation of safe and caring communities. Welch, along with her husband Emmitt, lives in and runs Community Renewal’s Friendship House in the Allendale neighborhood of Shreveport, Louisiana.
A beacon of hope in a low-income, high-crime neighborhood, the Welches’ home is a safe place that offers after-school education programs, character building, GED courses, art and music lessons, family nights, and much more. By building trust and relationships in their community, the Welches and their Friendship House have become a foundation for neighborhood residents to set and achieve basic goals in the areas of community, education, leadership, housing, health, safety, and meaningful work.
Welch serves as a mentor and role model for many of the girls in the neighborhood and has made an immediate impact on youth education levels. Since the Allendale Friendship House was built in 2001, crime has fallen 60 percent in that neighborhood, compared to only 26 percent in Shreveport at large.
Welch's work has been featured in the Shreveport Times, Philanthropy Magazine, City Journal, and on FoxNews.com. In 2019, her organization was featured in a Chronicle of Philanthropy special report called "Meet the Nonprofit Innovators.” Welch received her BSBA and MBA in Human Resources Management from Colorado Technical University. She is in the process of completing her Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership from Grand Canyon University.
Learn more about Community Renewal International and its Friendship House program at: communityrenewal.us.
For more information about the Civil Society Fellows Program click here.