The Scholarship Foundation is pleased announce the appointment of Ravi Rao, J.D. to Director of Development. Ravi joins the leadership staff in mid-April. He brings nonprofit leadership experience and a deep commitment to educational opportunity for young people to his new position.
A native St. Louisan, Ravi developed a passion for social justice during his college years at Washington University. A lifelong debater and coach, Ravi captained the high school team at one of the more well-resourced public schools in the region (Ladue Horton Watkins) and later coached debate in some of the city’s most under-resourced schools. Firsthand exposure to resource disparity remained as he completed his legal studies in Chicago at Chicago-Kent College of Law. Ravi then co-founded and directed the St. Louis Urban Debate League, a nonprofit organization that supported the establishment and growth of after school debate teams in St. Louis’ urban high schools. That experience convinced him to pursue a career in nonprofit fundraising, where he could use his advocacy background while fulfilling his passion to connect prospective donors with projects and causes that matter to them.
Ravi joins the Foundation after serving as Director of Development with Employment Connection. His previous positions include Grants and Annual Fund Manager at Grace Hill Settlement House, Co-Founder and Acting Executive Director at National Construction Institute of St. Louis, as well as Founding Executive Director of St. Louis Urban Debate League.
A resident of the Gate District in St. Louis City, Ravi lives with his wife Kelli, and son/boss Arjuna. He can often be found chasing after the latter in the evenings at Lafayette Square Park, coaching at a local debate tournament, or cheering on his beloved Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues from his seat in the nosebleed section.