About the innovator

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Shantell Roberts is a Social Entrepreneur, Advocate for Maternal and Child Health, and Founder and Director of Touching Young Lives, Incorporated; a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that focuses on the health and well-being of infants and children.

Shantell earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Stevenson University (formerly Villa Julie College). She currently works as the Safe Sleep Coordinator for Baltimore City at Healthcare Access Maryland. In 2015, she was the recipient of the “We Are The Dream” award from the Baltimore City Youth Council and in 2016, she was awarded the Youth Entrepreneurship Award by The Millennium Seat Pleasant Club of the National Capital Area Chapter of The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club, Incorporated. She was also awarded the 2016 Small Non Profit Innovator Award by the Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Black Charities Woman Under 30 Making a Difference in the Community Award. Shantell serves on the Morgan State University’s Entrepreneurial Development and Assistance Centers’ W.O.M.E. N.’s Conference Advisory Committee and has recently been appointed as an Advisory Board Member for the University of Maryland’s Pediatric Departments’ Center for Infant and Child Loss; where she also serves as a dedicated volunteer and a support system for other mothers that have lost children to untimely deaths.

Shantell’s passion for advocating for maternal and child health began in 2011 after the untimely death of her one year old daughter. After suffering this heartbreak, she began working to ensure that this tragedy does not happen to another family. Shantell partnered with various Daycare Centers, Head Start programs, Shelters, and Ministries to educate them on the importance of hygiene and various medical resources that are available. After recognizing a void in her community for maternal and child advocacy, she decided to expand efforts and founded Touching Young Lives, Incorporated. Since its formation, she has worked with hundreds of children in Maryland with one goal in mind, preventing another untimely adolescent death. Interested in creating a Safe Sleep solution to cross city/county jurisdictions and across socioeconomic barriers, in October of 2016, Shantell was accepted into the Social Innovation Lab at John Hopkins University for her proposal to distribute Portable Alternative Cribs (P.A.C.s) though a universal safe sleep program.

Committed to ensuring the well-being of infants and children, Shantell often speaks at various conferences and civic organizations throughout the community; hoping to inspire others that have lost loved ones to keep pushing forward and to turn their pain into purpose.

She is a mother, sister, daughter, and friend, but most importantly she is a young entrepreneur making a difference, and changing young lives.