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Finding Herself

Shivanie grew up in a tight-knit Guyanese family. Despite being born in the US, she struggled to feel at home as one of the very few students of color at her high school. As she began her studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, she not only felt alone, she felt like a stranger to herself. All that changed when she found America Needs You.

Suddenly, she was surrounded by a community who celebrates all aspects of her identity, including her Mentor Coach, Neha.

“Neha has taught me the importance of not hiding who I truly am. Before ANY, my professional profiles never showcased who I was as a Caribbean-American woman. I was ashamed of what I looked like, and I made decisions to hide what made me so special. Being a first-generation student means taking risks, stepping out of my comfort zone, and doing something that I’ve never seen anyone in my family do before.”

With Neha’s support, Shivanie completed an internship at Accenture. She was recently offered a full-time role and will be joining them as Consulting Development analyst upon graduation.

“Diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice, and belonging is having that voice be heard. I want to make the same change for young people who can relate to my hardship and provide them with as much support as I can. That’s why I’ve committed to pay it forward and one day come back as a Mentor Coach.

I have the utmost gratitude to ANY for being a place where my voice and story are truly heard. I’ve come to learn that America needs me and I am proud to be a part of America Needs You.”

Support ambitious students like Shivanie and help us build a more equitable future by making a tax-deductible donation to America Needs You.

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