Education

Wesleyan graduate ‘spreading hope and love’ across the community

Shanita Anderson, who is graduating from Wesleyan College on Saturday with a degree in human services with a minor in education, says she's excited to soon be working at The Methodist Home, where she can make a difference in the lives of children.
Shanita Anderson, who is graduating from Wesleyan College on Saturday with a degree in human services with a minor in education, says she's excited to soon be working at The Methodist Home, where she can make a difference in the lives of children. bcabell@macon.com

Shanita Anderson never thought she would go to college, until a family took her in and changed her life.

The Atlanta resident is about to graduate from Wesleyan College with a bachelor’s degree in human services and a minor in education.

She wants to help children on a deeper level and make a difference in their lives. She knows firsthand the impact that positive role models can have. Anderson was unofficially adopted as an infant, but her adoptive mom died when Anderson was just 12.

Then, Marsha and Steve Lamb became her caregivers, showing her that “love has no boundaries,” Anderson said. Although they have been Anderson’s parents for a decade, they will officially adopt her this summer.

“If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here at Wesleyan,” Anderson said. “I grew up in a very bad neighborhood, and no one around me really went to college. (The Lambs) kept on telling me you’re going to do this. They put the sparkle and the determination in me, and that really changed my life.”

Amid her studies at Wesleyan, Anderson worked with children with behavioral disorders as a part-time nanny. She interned at the Autism Center and Loaves and Fishes, and she served as a summer ambassador for the college. Among her community service projects, she put together more than 100 hygiene kits for the homeless as well as Thanksgiving meal boxes for families.

“She’s always looking for a new opportunity to really put herself out there and do something new and make an impact,” said Theresa Abercrombie, an administrative assistant at the college. “She wants to be out in the community making an impact, spreading hope and love. I think to know her is to love her. Shanita knows in her heart what her calling is, and it’s helping people.’

On May 21, Anderson will become a child care counselor at The Methodist Home, which is for abused, neglected and abandoned children. She will plan activities, work one on one with the girls there, and teach and empower them. She said the job is exactly what she wanted to do.

In the future, she’d like to start bigger initiatives for the homeless, create empowerment programs and camps for children, become a foster parent, and one day open her own boarding school.

Andrea Honaker: 478-744-4382, @TelegraphAndrea

College undergraduate commencements

GEORGIA MILITARY COLLEGE: MILLEDGEVILLE

When: 10 a.m. May 26

Where: Georgia College Centennial Center, Milledgeville

Undergraduate class: 303

Speaker: Lt. Governor Casey Cagle

GEORGIA MILITARY COLLEGE: WARNER ROBINS

When: 2 p.m. June 10

Where: Homer J. Walker Civic Center, Warner Robins

Undergraduate class: About 120

Speaker: State Rep. Shaw Blackmon

GORDON STATE COLLEGE

When: 8:30 a.m. Friday

Where: Lambdin Green in the center of campus, Barnesville

Undergraduate class: 314

Speaker: Dr. C. Thomas Hopkins Jr., regent for the University System of Georgia

MERCER UNIVERSITY

When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Hawkins Arena, Macon

Undergraduate class: 531

Speakers: J. Reginald Murphy, journalist and business executive, and graduating senior Alayna Williams

WESLEYAN COLLEGE

When: 10 a.m. Saturday

Where: Porter Auditorium, Macon

Undergraduate class: Around 110

Speaker: Actress Karan Kendrick

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