Young Friends Organization

SouthSide’s Young Friends Organization is a group of dynamic, diverse and forward-thinking young individuals between the ages of 21 and 40 who are committed to making a positive difference in the St. Louis community by increasing recognition of and support for SouthSide Early Childhood Center.

The Purpose of SouthSide’s Young Friends is to:

  • Nurture professional and personal relationships while creating awareness in the community about SouthSide’s mission and programs.
  • Educate the St. Louis community about the   importance of quality early childhood education.
  • Inspire support for the children and families at SouthSide.

SouthSide’s Young Friends Organization

Cleo - Photo

Cleo Fisher
Cleo is a native St. Louisan and attended Loyola University New Orleans where she majored in Sociology. After returning to St. Louis and working at various nonprofit organizations, she is now SouthSide’s Development Coordinator, which includes taking on the role of leading SouthSide’s Young Friends Organization. Cleo loves SouthSide’s holistic approach to addressing the needs of the children and their families. She also enjoys being able to go on field trips with the kids any chance she gets!



Erin Gitau- Photo

Erin Gitau
Erin grew up in St. Louis and attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where she graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism with an emphasis in Strategic Communications. She is currently a Strategist at HLK, a full-service digital agency located in downtown St. Louis. Erin currently lives in Ballwin, MO with her husband, Curtis, and their 2-year-old daughter, Molly. Erin wanted to be a part of Southside’s YFO because she thinks that every child deserves the opportunity to be their best self and it’s important to continue to communicate that in order to change the way people think about early childhood education.



Pat Miller Pic

Pat Miller
Pat is a member of RubinBrown’s Assurance Services Group. Pat is a member of SouthSide’s finance committee. When he heard that SouthSide was starting a Young Friends Organization, he jumped at the chance to get involved with a group geared towards helping further SouthSide’s mission and having fun!
Fun Fact: Pat volunteered at SouthSide (at the old building) in both junior high and high school.



Jo Pang- Pic

Jo Pang
Jo is a Director of Quality and Process Improvement at Express Scripts with a primary focus on improving the lives of our patients and employees.  In addition, he recently began a Mindfulness program at Express Scripts.  Outside of work Jo is a parent of 1 dog, 3 cats and 2,000 (and counting) composting worms, enjoys rock climbing and playing music. He has a passion for education and is thrilled to be able to participate in the YFO.



Allie Pennock- Photo

Allie Pennock
Allie is a Senior Business Analyst with Express Scripts. Allie attended a Young Friend’s happy hour after reading about Southside’s mission and decided to further investigate.  After visiting the school to get a first-hand look at the impact this place makes, she was hooked. The teachers and staff are so passionate and talented – she knows they are affecting their students in the most positive way and considers it an honor to help keep that great work going!

Helen Cardwell 

Andres Delgado

Jason Hartman

Kathryn Horan

Jack Pawloski 

Beau Rothwell

Jennifer Rothwell

Maddie Smith

Erin Vogt

Molly White

Pat Zundel

Are you interested in learning more about SouthSide’s Young Friends Organization?  Email for information about joining the Board.