Yuri Shane (she/her)
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Having worked in neighborhoods where education is a privilege and experienced great collective benefits from more inclusive places, Yuri co-founded Access Opportunity out of her passion for equitable access to education and career opportunities.
Yuri is also inspired by work that focuses on health, connection, and growth and is most proud of the work that Access Opportunity students and the team have done in centering community, incorporating social and emotional learning, and leading from student voice.
Previously, Yuri immigrated to the US, worked as a management consultant, managed an after-school program for students from low-income communities in New York City, launched and ran international internship and entrepreneurship programs for Columbia University, and been on two participatory action research teams investigating collective trauma and student support programs.
After living in several mega-cities, Yuri loves going with her kids to visit neighbors (horses), walking her dog under a big sky, and managing her hair without humidity.
Yuri received a BA from Columbia University, MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, and – most recently – an MSW from Smith College School for Social Work.
Favorite College Experience: "Riding a Greyhound bus from NY to Montreal in January with my first love, running into our favorite musician, and sitting in the musician's kitchen having soup. Or…returning to grad school at a point in life where I take things less seriously."
Advice for High School and College Students: "I'm also at a point in life where my advice feels further from the experience of high school and college students…maybe to try to understand your values and make decisions from them. And find your people if you can."
Favorite Food: "My Burmese grandmother's chicken and rice which brings back memories of her flower dresses and bright lipstick, the mango tree in her yard, and falling asleep to what sounds like a million birds."