Stephanie Held is a skilled storyteller & communications strategist with ten years of experience raising awareness for social change. In 2022, she was awarded a Public Relations Society of America Award of Excellence in Community Relations for successfully raising awareness for the children’s clothing insecurity crisis in Chicago.

Stephanie started her social sector career at Cradles to Crayons, building brand equity from the ground up, and developing marketing strategies and communications to engage stakeholders in the organization’s mission to help more than 200,000 Chicagoland students access the basic essentials they need to thrive–at home, at school, and at play. She learned how to tell stories of impact with dignity, and in her most recent role at Educators for Excellence—Chicago, she took the plunge into advocacy and policy, amplifying the voices of forward-thinking educators with a vision for equity and excellence in schools.

As Ingenuity’s Communications & Storytelling Manager, Stephanie is responsible for telling the organization’s story to increase arts education access, quality & equity in Chicago Public Schools. Public education is such a special time for developing the whole child: their imagination, identity, and dreams for the future. The arts are an essential pathway for this creative development and all children deserve an equitable investment in the arts at their school. Stephanie is thrilled to bring her passions for the arts, storytelling and social justice into alignment.

She received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Public Relations from the College of Communication Arts & Sciences, Michigan State University in 2013, and pursued continued education in digital marketing and graphic design through a certificate program at Columbia Business School and School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She lives in Chicago with her fiance and affectionate cat, Early Girl, and maintains a long list of friends, DIY projects and books that support her as a lifelong learner.