People We Love: Shannon McNamara

Sharing education in Africa.
Shannon McNamara

Fifteen-year-old Shannon McNamara was preparing for a family trip to Tanzania when she learned about the obstacles there to girls’ education: time (girls traditionally do more household labor than boys) and poverty (a shortage of funding for schools and supplies).

McNamara, an avid reader, created a project specifically for African schoolgirls, organizing friends to collect 500 pounds of donated books and education materials. Three years later, SHARE serves more than 3,500 students and 65 teachers, and has helped many students progress to secondary schools.

McNamara, who recently received the United Nations Youth Achievement Award, has developed a girls’ scholarship program and will be entering Rice University in the fall.


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