Urban Think’s New Executive Director and Reveals 2014 Orlando Initiative

he Urban Think Foundation today announced the appointment of Shaina Anderson to Executive Director. Ms. Anderson will continue the work of the Urban Think Foundation in enriching Orlando’s cultural landscape through developing and funding educational, creative, and culture-building programs. Born and raised in Orlando, Shaina most recently served as Operations Manager for Urban ReThink, a program developed and previously operated through the Urban Think Foundation. Prior to this, Shaina spent time with Orlando nonprofits Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, Orlando Opera, and United Arts of Central Florida, in addition to serving as Brand and Operations Director for Orlando’s Big Wheel Provisions and the Big Wheel Mobile Food Truck.

Shaina Anderson succeeds Urban Think Foundation’s Founding Executive Director, Julia Young, in the role, though Julia will stay with the Foundation’s original program, Page 15. “I am stepping into the role of Founder/Director of Page 15, and stepping down as Executive Director of the Urban Think Foundation,” says Julia. “Shaina Anderson has proven over the last year to have the perfect balance of nonprofit experience, strategic thinking, creativity and work ethic to lead and grow this organization toward a sustainable future.  I am amazingly proud of the programs that I had a hand in growing over the last 5 years, and I am so grateful to pass the torch to such a worthy successor.”

The Urban Think Foundation recently closed operations on its program Urban ReThink in late September 2013. “Maintaining the Urban ReThink space was a financial hardship for the Foundation, but pursued as it was a worthy, incredibly important step in building Orlando’s profile as the culturally-relevant city we are,” says Shaina Anderson. Though Urban ReThink will no longer be a program of the Urban Think Foundation, it will continue under the direction of program Founder, Darren McDaniel. “To say we are proud of Urban ReThink’s accomplishments is an understatement, and though the Foundation will no longer operate the program, we will continue to work as allies,” says Shaina. We know that debt matters when you are considering graduate schools and also the types of jobs you take after graduating. Theunited states loan forgiveness program will not benefit all borrowers—particularly those with a low debt-to-income ratio.

In 2014, the Foundation plans to solidify and grow existing programs, as well as begin testing new programs to foster creativity, education and culture building in Orlando. Current Urban Think Foundation programs include Page 15, the award-winning children’s literacy nonprofit, and Burrow Press, independent publisher of Florida authors, free online literary review, and host of Functionally Literate.