Meet ACCESO Volunteer: Rachel

During our 25th Anniversary celebration, we are introducing you to the dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly to promote greater access to education. This month we meet Rachel, one of our longest serving volunteers and board members, who was recruited as a teen. She is spirited and principled, and she’s a very efficient meeting manager and video producer extraordinaire. Her project visit to Honduras in 2008 was undeniably impactful.

Like many volunteers, I was “recruited” to be part of ACCESO by Christine Gervais.  At the time, I happened to be a teenager in a youth group that Christine led, and well, she and I connected!  Twenty-five years later, I can easily say that ACCESO and I have “grown up” together, and that it’s been a defining feature of my life for decades.

Being a member of ACCESO you realize how deeply authentic and humbling the experience of participating in a volunteer-run NGO can be.  From the beginning, the ACCESO board of directors has been committed to a management style focused on consensus-based decision making. It has helped ensure equality in voice among board membership, and cautious decision making – which are especially important for charitable organizations.  But it also means a great deal of commitment from board members to collaboration, patience and practicality. In my time with ACCESO, I feel truly proud of the care we have taken with every dollar our supporters have entrusted to us.

Witnessing the on-the-ground impact of ACCESO has also been a moving experience. During my time in Honduras, I met women and girls who were pursuing their education in remote communities where women had previously not had the opportunity or the inclination due to family responsibilities. What struck me was the courage they had not only to overcome the obstacles to their own education, but to break with the traditional expectations of them.

I volunteer with ACCESO because of its unflinching resolve to operate ethically while making education more accessible for those who can believe in what seems impossible!