When Cordelia Cranshaw, BSW ’14, graduated from Mason, she garnered media attention, including a story in USA Today. The reason: She beat the odds. Only 3 percent of young people in foster care go on to graduate college.
Cranshaw’s path hasn’t been easy. When she was 12, her mother went to prison, and Cranshaw and her siblings went to live with relatives. She eventually entered the foster care system at age 14. But she realized education was her path to success and making her dreams a reality. Her life goal has been to help other young people see that same opportunity.
After graduation, Cranshaw made plans to become a social worker and start a nonprofit to help at-risk youth. Done and done. Cranshaw completed a master of social work degree at the University of Maryland and now works for Washington, D.C.’s Child and Family Services Agency. Her nonprofit, Acts of Random Kindness (ARK), is growing and recently secured its first grant.