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2021 40 Under 40: Natosha Lancaster

Program Director, Isabel's House

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Natosha Lancaster’s 11-year career has been focused on improving the lives of the region’s most vulnerable children and families in the areas of mental health, child welfare, case management and care coordination. Lancaster, 38, has served since early 2018 at Isabel’s House, where she helps the crisis nursery of the Ozarks strengthen its programming for families in need due to homelessness, hospitalization, incarceration, substance abuse or domestic violence.

“My proudest professional accomplishment to date has been leading my Isabel’s House team through this global pandemic,” she says, pointing to the risk of child abuse and neglect amid stay-at-home orders. “For many of our families, navigating this pandemic has intensified that risk.”

Proudest moment? The birth of my daughter. Seeing her beautiful face just made me feel whole.

How do you make the Ozarks better? I use my platform to advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion in Springfield by amplifying the voices of Black people.

Theme song? “Black,” by Buddy featuring A$AP Ferg.

Best celebrity meeting/sighting? B.B. King in 2012 after a performance at the Gillioz Theatre. I was dating Isaac at the time, and as an audio engineer, he was working the show. B.B. walked past us and thanked Isaac for doing a great job. He looked at me, took my hand and told me I was beautiful. That made my life.

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