Shawndell Burney-Speaks was born and raised in Providence, RI. She was educated in the Providence Public School system and continued her educational studies at the Community College of Rhode Island and Roger Williams Universities – Adult Education Program. Shawndell has worked with inner-city youth and their families for over 20 years. She has been a Streetworker at the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence (ISPN), and a Coordinator for the Beloved Community Summer Jobs Program at ISPN. Shawndell established her first girl’s group with the support of a wonderful group of women at ISPN; then transitioned to after-school programs and working with young ladies in both middle and high school in the Providence Public School system from 2009-2013. Shawndell also worked as an Intervention Specialist in the Providence Public School system where she helped significantly increase the graduation rate at Juanita Sanchez High School.
Shawndell is a Certified Life Coach and creator of S.Burney-Speaks Life, where she specializes in providing services for individuals and groups. Shawndell believes she understands the daily struggles of those in her community. Shawndell and her family faced a major loss with the loss of her son Devin on July 1st, 2017. Shawndell Burney-Speaks is committed to taking back her community, even with and especially because of this recent and major loss. You can follow Shawndell on Facebook @sburneyspeakslife and Instagram @shawniespeaks1121.