Meet ACCESO Volunteer: Shanisse

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 Shanisse, an incredibly collegial volunteer and board member whose optimistic, resourceful, and solidarity-oriented approaches are inspiring and empowering.

It’s hard to believe all that has happened since first volunteering with ACCESO some 8 years ago! As a server at the “Sounds and Tastes of the Americas” event back in 2013, I recall the feeling of community and solidarity exemplified not only by the donors and supporters who purchased tickets for the night, but also by the throngs of volunteers, with partners and children in tow, who were happy to spend their Saturday organizing the silent auction, setting tables, and preparing the bar, all to raise money to support people they may never see or or meet.

Over the years, this feeling of solidarity has only grown stronger. I’ve come to better appreciate ACCESO’s model of charitable empowerment after witnessing so many students go on to become doctors, teachers, and business people in their communities, choosing to help others after receiving support themselves. By sponsoring their education, we are supporting their choices for their future, in communities where many of us would not find the same opportunities and privileges that we have been afforded. 

I am humbled by the perseverance of project partners, students, and recent grads sponsored by ACCESO, who have accomplished so much despite the inequities they face every day. The act of giving donations or volunteering one’s time and energy is a show of solidarity with our “familia” around the world. And so I would like to thank ACCESO’s volunteers, partners, donors, and supporters for all that they have given of themselves over the last 25 years! In another life, I have no doubt that each one of the students sponsored by ACCESO would do the same for us!