"Pursuing a higher education will give me the opportunity to change my life in a positive way and help those who need it. Access Opportunity has opened a lot of doors for me and has shown me their support in every way. They are like my family - they are always there for me."



Ananda, Class of 2024

In 2015, Ananda and her family made the decision to come to the US from Uganda in pursuit of better education and opportunities. Ananda did not know what to expect when coming to America, but she knew that she wanted to continue to empower herself through her education. Starting at Thornton High School as a freshman, she noticed she could be challenged more if she was enrolled in the IB Diploma program. Therefore, Ananda took it upon herself to meet with the IB coordinator to see if she could transfer into the more difficult classes halfway through her first year at Thornton. This initiative and ambition is not uncommon for Ananda; she is a go-getter who takes advantage of every opportunity that comes her way.
Through Access Opportunity, Ananda took part in many different job shadows and college visits during her first summer in the program; she sees each activity as a chance to learn and develop as not only a student, but as a person as well. Ananda hopes to one day give back to the communities she came from; she is passionate about education access for all, especially young girls and youth living in Africa. Ananda started a girl empowerment group at her high school to inspire goal setting and academic achieving amongst her female peers. Ananda also was offered a summer internship, through Access Opportunity's job pairing, at a local non-profit called Educate!, where she would help their staff develop programming to advance African schools' resources for college and career readiness for their youth in schools. Ananda inspires everyone she works with because of her ambitious spirit and her grateful nature and is now a student at Harvard University. We can't see what she does next!

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