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.
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
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
When: 10 a.m. Saturday
Where: Porter Auditorium, Macon
Undergraduate class: Around 110
Speaker: Actress Karan Kendrick