Yuri Shane  (she/her)

Executive Director


Having worked in many communities where education is a privilege, Yuri is passionate about equal access to education and career opportunities.

Her dual experience in education and business led to starting Access Opportunity with a force of nature named Susie. Before Access Opportunity, Yuri worked as a management consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers and a Manager with Huron Consulting Group's Higher Education practice. She also managed an after-school program for low-income students in New York City, launched an international internship program for Columbia University that's now in 7 cities around the world, and headed Columbia's student entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship programs for undergraduates.

After living in some of the world's mega-cities, few things make Yuri happier than the fact that her children are growing up with horses as neighbors and lots of stargazing opportunities in a big, dark sky.

Yuri received her BA from Columbia University and her MA from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Favorite College Experience: "I should probably share a more academic example, but honestly it was my trip with my first love (and heartbreak). We rode a Greyhound bus for over 7 hours to visit Montreal over winter break (Why? So cold! So dark!). In Montreal, we ran into the musician we most idolized and he made us dinner."

Advice for High School and College Students: "I know so many of my educational and career opportunities have been because I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. But, I also know I worked hard to make the most of opportunities that came up. If a chance presents itself, go for it. Or better yet, create that chance for yourself. It might not work out, but you'll never know unless you try and give it your all."

Favorite Food: "My Burmese grandmother's chicken and rice. Thinking of that flavor brings back memories of her kitchen surrounded by mango and banana trees, and my grandma's flower dresses, bright lipstick, and big brown eyes!"