Today we’d like to introduce you to Ciera L. Simril, MA.
Hi Ciera, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I began volunteering in my community at a young age with my parents attending meetings. I’ve held various titles over the years based on my contributions to my community. I’m currently the vice chairwoman of the Civilian Oversight Board and also the youngest member serving. I’ve participated in peaceful protest, meetings, and events to unite our city.
I’m the youngest member appointed to my second term on the Civilian Oversight Board by Mayor Lyda Krewson. I serve as the Vice Chairwoman of the board and represents District One which includes Wards 2, 3, 21 & 27. I have been a long time activist for change within the communities that she serves daily. I am a graduate of Soldan International Studies High School, a University of Missouri-St. Louis graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, a Master of Arts in Organizational Development from Webster University and working on her second Master’s in Human Resource Development. I also interned with The St. Louis American and has written several columns on community issues.
I’ve worked for US Bank for 8 years currently in CDA/IRA business line, after working in various capacities at the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis and North Newstead Association as a facilitator for the Neighborhood Ownership Model started in 2011 in North Pointe, Walnut Park East/West neighborhoods. My volunteer activities include giving back to her home community in North St Louis 27th and 2nd Wards feeding families, speaking at meetings, community cleanups, volunteer secretary, assisting residents with city resources and collaborating with neighborhood organizations. I previously served as the Youth Representative of Area F Council Urban League of Metropolitan St Louis for 15 years. After volunteering at the Urban League of Metropolitan St Louis food pantry daily while taking college courses, I found the need to help the community.
I was a program coordinator for St. Louis Connecting and Assisting Neighborhoods in North City which was focused around youth. I was tasked to provide programs for children ages 4-15 years old and adult activities. I also managed baseball, martial arts, reading programs, and adult aerobics for families in North City. I’m also an Executive Board Member of Young Voices With Action focuses around mentoring young people and providing opportunities.
I was born and raised in North Pointe, I feel it’s my duty to serve the community. A few accomplishments I received were the Earl E. Howe Community Service Award, Nextdoor Hero Award and the Neighborhood Star, an award from the Circuit Attorney’s Office, for acting as an intermediary between police and neighborhood residents. I also volunteered for Sixth District North Patrol community meetings as secretary and being a liaison with connecting residents to officers.
In 2017 I took engagement of working for the people to new heights by seeking elected office. I sought elected office twice in 2017 for an alderwoman and trustee to serve in a larger capacity of people. Both races were unsuccessful however I knew this was just the beginning of what was destined. I’m also a member of the Order of Eastern Star Chapter New Hope #56 since 2012.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
There have been various obstacles along the way that have tested my heart. One has been learning about where I fit into my city. When your passion is working for the people it becomes difficult when you’re career can’t align with that.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I’m currently a business operations analyst for US Bank after excelling through the various business lines. I began my journey with the bank almost 8 years ago beginning as a teller. I’m most proud of my determination and drive during this journey. There have been many times I’ve wanted to quit but the fire inside of my spirit was to strong. What sets me aside from others is my love of community, work ethic and always making time. I don’t believe things happen by accident but that they are already written in your story.
Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
I’ve taken a few major risk that has pushed the boundaries one being the youngest board member. Sometimes your lack of experience is overlooked based on age. The experience has taught me that taking a risk and standing for what you believe in is more important than remaining silent.
- Website: https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/public-safety/civilian-oversight-board/index.cfm
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ciera.simril , https://www.facebook.com/SimrilforStlouis/
Second photo is from the HUDZ committee hearing April 9, 2022 at Ofallon Recreation Center in North St Louis City discussing the ARPA Funding