MBU Freshman Giving Back to the Program That Got Her Here

Mary Baldwin freshman Shyanna Davis got a lot of help on her journey to MBU from Harrisonburg’s On The Road Collaborative. Now, she’s returning the favor.

Shyanna Davis ‘27 already knew what she wanted to study when she came to MBU. For that, she thanks On the Road Collaborative, a Harrisonburg-based nonprofit organization dedicated to “building a world where all youth are on the road to realizing their promise.”

“On The Road is a program that helps young people gain valuable experience at a young age,” said Davis, putting the organization’s mission into her own words. “They gave me career-enrichment opportunities that showed me how different jobs work like serving in the police, cooking, dance, community engagement, and agriculture.”

For Davis, the lessons she learned with On The Road were more than valuable:

“I was in the first class with On The Road, and it taught me how to know what I want.”

And what did she want? To carry on the nonprofit’s mission, and become an elementary educator and On The Road community teacher herself.

Now, Davis balances her studies in the elementary education BA program with work as a community teacher in On The Road’s after-school program.

“It means a lot to be a community teacher. I can help the youths in our community learn about what they want and I can become a trusted adult in their lives,” Davis said. “One of the best parts is that I get to apply what I learn from my education professors directly with On The Road.”

Much of what Davis found enriching about On The Road contributed to her decision to attend Mary Baldwin:

“When I first got here, all I could see and notice about campus was how open people were. I thought not only could I succeed in class, but I saw that MBU professors and programs want us to be involved in the community as well. That’s shared by both On The Road and Mary Baldwin.”

“My goal is to be a teacher,” Davis was proud to say. “It’s important to give back because you get to support a bigger cause than yourself. There’s no better way to show you want to make a change.”