Our Vision

A sustainable academic pipeline for youth success

  1. Team- Oriented. To create highly effective positive results.
  2. HumilityConsideration and dialogue.
  3. AccountabilityTransparency, delivery and follow-up.
  4. IntegrityEverything starts with self.
  1. ProfessionalismConduct.
  2. Initiative. Analyze Risk.
  3. Self- motivatedPerseverance.
  4. ExcellenceConstantly raising the bar and building expectations.

Our Mission

To improve student achievement and attainment and eliminate persistent social, racial, and economic disparities and injustices to academic success.

India Richey
Chair of the Board
The STEER Center

India Richey serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of STEER.  Her area of expertise is Program Management and Community Development in the Nonprofit Sector. She loves to create programs to promote engagement, internal development, and positive esteem within the community, especially youth. She has experience in video editing and graphic design. Ms. Richey specializes in programming, environmental strategies, and systems change for minorities and underrepresented communities.

Ms. Richey is a graduate of Towson University (Sport Management/Business Administration) and is currently pursuing her Master’s of Public Policy at the University of Maryland in College Park. Her focus is on Nonprofit Management.  Ms. Richey serves her community through her own 501(c)3 organization, Project Purpose. Project Purpose is dedicated to mentoring, educational awareness, and volunteerism in the Washington Metropolitan Area. She currently serves as the Community Connector for Suitland Prevention Works Drug-Free Coalition in conjunction with 3-D Communications, Inc.
She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Blaise Buffington
Vice Chair and Media Director

Blaise is a graduate of Spelman College, with a major in documentary film while minoring in Spanish. She holds a graduate certificate from the New York University Tisch School of Arts Future Film Scholar Program in history, theory, and criticisms of cinema studies. Additionally, Blaise is the Founder of her flourishing nonprofit organization, Melanated Motion Picture Pals, where K-12 students are educated on the history of filmmaking and develop an involvement with the production of film. Blaise is dedicated to building her leadership experience while maximizing educational public health and professional exposures.

Blaise believes “whom much is given much is required.”  As such, she participates in community service events with Gifted Girls of Grace, Atlanta Community Food Bank, West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA), and For the People We the People. She has served as an Intern for the Gifted Girls of Grace Community Service Executive Board. Moreover, Blaise is an active member in the NAACP Spelman Collegiate Chapter, the Collegiate Chapter of National Action Network, FRESH Career Planning and Development Program, and at Grady High School, KIPP Elementary, M. Agnes Jones Elementary, Snow Hill High School, and the Coretta Scott King Academy.

Sylvia QuintonSylvia-Nzinga Louise Quinton, Esq., EdD, CRA
Development Director
The STEER Center

Sylvia L. Quinton, Esq., EdD, CRA, is a tax-exempt organization attorney with expertise in grants management, fund development, higher education, business development and partnerships, substance abuse prevention (perceived risk of marijuana use), HIV/AIDS prevention, and economics. Her focus is working with community-based organizations to become influencers by creating access to political and economic power for their customers; developing magnet for money organizations. She has an impressive public and private grant portfolio exceeding $25 million; including funding from the National Science Foundation, Maryland Department of Education, and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Not many change agents can be credited with creating new terminology that altered the policies of a nation. Quinton’s innovative and courageous thinking has turned the nonprofit industry up-side down with her “out-of-the-box” strategy to complete the unfinished agenda of the American Experiment as well as the Civic Rights Movement. Centuries from now her new term “Community Investor” will be the defining moment of true equality in the economic world.  Her book entitled Community Investors: Making Money While Making Social Change is a strategic ready-to-use tool for maintaining and sustaining public and private investments in communities.

Ms. Quinton is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore-University Maryland at Baltimore Honors Program (UMES-UMAB) and the Temple University School of Law. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and The Links, Inc. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education degree from Morgan State University in the Community College Leadership Development Program, expected completion Fall 2021. She is also pursuing a second bachelor’s degree in Accounting at the University of Maryland Global Campus.

Najah IshmanNajah Ishman
Senior Program Manager
The STEER Center

Najah Ishman, MSA, is a Grants Program Administrator and Nonprofit Consultant serving various organizations in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. With over 10 years of experience in programming and research in community public health, STEM K-12 education and positive youth development and engagement, her work has afforded her opportunities locally, nationally, and internationally to provide expertise in a range of initiatives. These initiatives include HIV/AIDS and substance abuse prevention, STEM-based education, teacher professional development and out-of-school time programming with local school systems and various community-based organizations. As a consultant, she provides grant oversight, compliance and monitoring as well as technical assistance for federal and state-funded grants. Also, Najah serves as an evaluation team member for several projects. Najah is committed to changing the narrative of public health and education in minority communities through service, collaboration and partnerships.

Our Funders
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Prince George’s County Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Strategic Community Services, Inc. (SCSI)
  • TD Bank
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF)

Community Meeting Places

Suitland Water Tower
Information and Reservations: (301) 918-8111
This landmark, located at 4211 Suitland Road, supplies water for Suitland and Capital Heights. It is a pride and joy to the community, having won many awards for its multi-purposes. Designed to be more than a water depository, this facility has a community room that can be utilized for meetings and social events. Seating capacity with tables is 50.

Local Parks
All parks close at dark. No alcoholic beverages are permitted, and dogs must be on a leash. For park information contact the Southern Area Office:
(301) 203-6000, TTY 301-203-6030

Need local or regional information?