Tolbert named to Thrive’s 2020 Thriving 30-somethings

Stefanee Nelson Tolbert

Stefanee Tolbert was born and raised in DeQuincy. She attended LSU and earned a Bachelor of Science in Education with a minor in English, as well as a degree in Educational Leadership and Administration. She also earned an associate’s degree in Advanced Youth Ministry from Christ for the Nations in Dallas.

In 2011, she and Carolyn Nelson opened Life Christian Academy to the public with 26 students. They now enroll 350. From the beginning, their goal has been to “encourage, equip, and empower” their students. “These values are also my life values,” says Stefanee. “If I look back over my day, and know that I have encouraged, equipped, and empowered the people in my life, then I feel like I am thriving. I strive to help others reach their full potential.”

Stefanee says she wanted to be an educator her whole life. “From a very early age, I would play school. So many things have led to where I am today, from ministry experience to my personal educational experience. My life has been a series of wins and losses, high mountains and low valleys, but I wouldn’t change it. I am so happy where I am today. I don’t take it for granted.”

Stefanee enjoys community outreach, but says she doesn’t like to do it alone. “I provide our students with many opportunities to serve. As early as three years old, we involve our scholars with community outreach. We go to SC3 to provide non-perishable food items; we have partnered with the City of Sulphur to serve the senior citizens at the Ole Tyme Christmas Brunch by singing, interacting, and serving food. We partner with Compassion International and bring groups of children to poverty simulations. We collect necessities and deliver them to the homeless; partner with the Biker Church to serve lunch to those in our community; and participate in Operation Christmas Child. I’m proud of how well my students do academically, but my true joy is encouraging, equipping, and empowering the next generation of world changers to be the hands and feet of Christ. Servant leadership is essential.”

Stefanee is married to Trent Tolbert and together they parent Cruz, Piper, Beckett, and Nash.