University of Central Florida (BS); University of North Carolina at Greensboro (MEd)
Why I Do What I Do: My mission in life is to advocate for and serve underrepresented students to increase opportunities for access to education.
Alma Mater(s): University of Central Florida (BS); University of North Carolina at Greensboro (MEd)
Your role in one sentence: I support the policy team in the development, advocacy, and implementation of policy that advances racial equity in education.
When I am not at work helping students get to and succeed in college I am… eating my way through Dallas, traveling with my besties, reading a good book, spending time with family and friends, or dancing to “Like a Girl” by Lizzo.
If not higher education then what cause? Affordable housing and food security in marginalized communities.
As a first-generation immigrant in the United States and first-generation student, Shanna’s passion for equity in education stems from her own experience matriculating through the education system. Fueled by this passion, Shanna began her career journey in higher education working with underrepresented students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Historically White Institutions. Prior to joining the Campaign, much of Shanna’s experience was centered around initiatives to invite conversation of anti-racism, power, privilege, and oppression on college campuses through training and programmatic efforts.
Shanna began her higher education journey in the 11th grade when she was recruited to be a part of her high school’s AVID program. Prior to joining AVID, Shanna had very little knowledge about post-secondary education or how to pursue it. Through guidance from her AVID teacher and the support from her family, Shanna went on to obtain two degrees. Shanna is an alumna of the University of Central Florida where she received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she received her graduate degree in Higher Education.
Shanna currently works for a nonprofit organization that focuses on access and equity in secondary education to increase access to post-secondary pathways. While increasing access to education for marginalized students is an essential piece of Shanna’s work, she believes that it is also important to establish support structures for marginalized students to successfully matriculate in education. To do this, Shanna partners with a portfolio of schools and districts across the nation to redesign education to improve student outcomes.
Shanna believes that education is the foundation for access and equity to many systems. Shanna joined the Campaign because she is passionate about making a difference in the education system for marginalized students through advocacy and policy reform. Her philosophy is that education should be the foundation for all students to build upon their inherent knowledge and experiences to increase students’ worldview, encourage intellectual thought, and create opportunities for success.