“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X
The Unexpected Outcome
Dr. Shanelle R. Benson Reid never expected to be a teacher. However, she was told early on that she should be an educator, but she had no interest. She spent a great deal of time tutoring in high school and she liked helping classmates, though, she hated working on specific content. “That being said, success feels gratifying” so she worked hard in all of her classes: early mornings, late nights, whatever it took and she did very well. Please understand, school did not come easy to Dr. Benson Reid but she was committed.
Upon graduating from high school, she was awarded an academic scholarship; unfortunately, she was also pregnant. She took he first quarter off then reenrolled. She failed miserably and was placed on academic probation. Attending college as a single, young mother was one of her greatest challenges. Eventually, she left the university and began attending the local community college. At that time, she lacked dedication and withdrew from more classes than she completed.
Then something happened. She realized there was more to life than driving a school bus, not that driving a bus is bad; it still remains one of her favorite experiences.
Nonetheless, she had a renewed commitment. She completed her coursework at the community college and returned to the university. She earned an A.A. and B.A. in the same year. She was accepted into a graduate program and planned to study Sociology of Education with an emphasis on Race, Class and Gender. She was driven, focused and motivated. The thoughts of being a schoolteacher had faded and life was moving at a terrific pace.
As mentioned earlier, Dr. Shanelle was pregnant with her first child when she graduated from high school. Eighteen months after having a daughter, she had a son. She noticed glaring differences between the two children but she attributed those variances to gender. She was wrong. Her son’s kindergarten teacher explained her concerns and did her best to ease Dr. Benson Reid’s frustration. Dr. Benson Reid recounts, “Every year after that was traumatic. He struggled mightily: poor tests grades, missing homework assignments, inattention during instruction, frequent trips to the principal’s office and numerous parent-teacher conferences.” She recalls one conference in particular; during a meeting the teacher disclosed, “She should not have to put up with his behaviors.” Dr. Benson Reid was livid, gave the teacher a piece of her mind and made the decision to change her graduate major.
Education needed her and she was up for the challenge. She met with her mentor, enrolled in a teacher education program and the rest is history.
The State of Education
Philosophically, Dr. Benson Reid does not believe in the structure of public education. She states, “Our entire system is inadequate and antiquated. As a student, I recall thinking to myself; nothing this teacher is doing is causing me to get excited about education. I’m not interested in math, I’m not interested in science, I’m not interested in social studies and I’m not interested ELA, I guess in actuality I wasn’t interested in school but I trusted the process so I pressed on.”
She goes on to reveal, “In the profession, we like to believe that education has evolved. We’ve incorporated manipulative, charts, graphs and visual representations. We allow movement, flexible seating, alternate assessments but the curriculum remains the same.”
Other aspects of society have improved, however the most important societal component has not; education has remained the same. “How can we justify not revolutionizing our current educational system while our students have evolved, our society has advanced and other industries have adapted?”
The wheels of progress turn slowly in education so instead of waiting for a system-wide transformation, Dr. Shanelle R. Benson Reid decided to take a proactive approach. ACCESS Global Group (AGG) is her educational consulting company. Dr. Benson Reid is the President and CEO of AGG. ACCESS Global Group creates uniquely-designed, programs for academic communities and professional organizations in the areas of cultural competency, social awareness, leadership development and employment / educational equity. The programs are based on extensive research, practical knowledge and over twenty years of mentoring, teaching, training and leadership experience.
The CARDS Method
Educating students from diverse backgrounds and situations is a complex process involving big-picture considerations and specific instructional strategies; at the very least, these students need to know adults in their lives are aware of the cultural and social conditions they encounter on a consistent basis and truly care about their personal and academic success. From this foundation, trusting relationships develop and serve as an essential context for learning. While this bridge from awareness and caring to learning and achievement is necessary for a successful school career, it is vitally important for students from marginalized backgrounds, who tend to experience more challenges in their personal and academic lives. Students from these communities benefit from the type of support that nurtures emotional growth while simultaneously providing optimal conditions for effective learning and based on this knowledge, the “CARDS Professional Development Method” was created.
The CLEAN Method
The CLEAN Corporate Training Method is based on perception, performance and production. The program focuses on a holistic approach to building the corporate community by addressing the needs of all members. Diversity and inclusivity are vital to establishing a thriving workplace, especially when it comes to employee engagement and group dynamics. Furthermore, creating an equitable environment cultivates creativity and innovation because team members, from executives to apprentices, bring a variety of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives to the organization. However, environments that embrace diversity, inclusivity and equity require comprehensive training and persistent adaptability, therefore, The CLEAN Method was developed based on these principles.
ACCESS Global Group
Welcome to ACCESS Global Group: The Coaching and Consulting Organization!
They are here to serve! Prepare to be amazed!
“Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.” Arianna Huffington
Dr. Benson Reid earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) and a Master’s in Education (Special Education Option) from CSUSB as well. After teaching for several years, Dr. Benson Reid decided to pursue her doctorate in Organizational Leadership and later start ACCESS Global Enterprises. ACCESS Global Enterprises is the parent company of ACCESS Dental Laboratories.
After serving as an educator and consulting in Central New York for several years, she met her husband, Mr. Todd Reid. A seasoned professional himself, Mr. Reid has built a career as an expert in the dental field. He has over twenty-five years of experience in the industry and specializes in full-mouth reconstruction. Recently, the couple decided to expand the ACCESS Global Brand. ACCESS Global Enterprises is now the parent company of ACCESS Dental Laboratories, the first and only black-owned, full-service dental laboratory in the United States. Together, Shanelle and Todd now run ACCESS Global Enterprises.
As a MWBE (Minority Women Business Enterprise, ACCESS Global Enterprises has several projects in development, from recently gaining site-control of a 16,000 square-foot building from the Syracuse Landbank to designing the state of the art curriculum and training program for the laboratory employees. As an MWBE, they were recipients of grants from the Alliance for Economic Inclusion (AEI) and the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC). Additionally, they are seeking support from SIDA (Syracuse Industrial Development Agency) and the National Grid Economic Development Program.
Once complete, the four-story building will include office rental space, a childcare center, a café, a fitness center, the ACCESS Dental Laboratory and the ACCESS Dental Executive Offices. At capacity, the Reids anticipate hiring 50 people from the Southside of Syracuse. The couple has been intentional about locating their business in the city, getting community buy-in, and being a cornerstone in the rejuvenation of Syracuse’s Southside. They understand it will require a lot of work, but they are ready and willing. This project is the culmination of a two-year process that included, late nights, numerous meetings, unexpected expenses, yet here they are, ready to transform a community.
Onward, Upward and Beyond
For Shanelle, this desire to impact a community comes from within and knowing that her trajectory is onward, upward and beyond. “People see the businesses and degrees but have no idea that I was a teen mom, struggling to make ends meet, living in poverty. Life was hard but I knew it would be great one day. I know unequivocally, my next day is my best day.”
The Woman…My Grand Rising
“I don’t believe in magic,” the young boy said. The old man smiled, “You will when you see her.” Atticus
Here I am, the year is 2020 and life as I know it is in the rearview mirror. The world is at a standstill; quarantines, shortages, layoffs, etc. A global pandemic has caused an upheaval and it is time to prepare for the aftermath. So before I hunker down and wait patiently for the world to reawake, I will consider my family, my friendships, my finances, my future and my Grand Rising.
Where do I turn when faced with catastrophe, most often towards love. No matter my status; married, parent, guardian, grandparent, etc., when life crumbles, I turn to the familial. The people who adore me without condition, those who long for my presence, the ones I cherished at first sight, the individuals I could not live without, now is the time to turn to love. Embrace this moment and be adored, be present, be cherished, be valued and be loved. I have been given an opportunity to wake up everyday and dwell in love. I will appreciate this experience, this moment and revel in love.
We grow and vibe, then build and thrive. We cheer for each other and support one another. We share visions, passions and dreams, the visible, tangible and unseen. We are friends, comrades and confidants. Now is the time to build and nurture relationships, create support systems and expand networks. Send the text, compose the email, schedule the meeting, let’s connect; Hey girl, I love you in bunches, we are stronger together.
I am busy minding my money. Setting aside for the unknown, unseen and unexpected. Yes, I am in the midst of it all, yet I will continue to mind my money. Education is my passion and I work tirelessly in all areas: yes I am the professor, the consultant, the coach, the author, and the professional speaker. This is my life, I love it and I am minding my money. What else shall I do, perhaps another business is on the horizon, like I said, I am minding my money.
Embrace this life and the days to come; I walk, rest, breathe, be and know there is no life without health. I am well in my soul; I pray because I need to talk to God and I mediate because I need to hear from God. I have it all; I owe it to my ancestors to make the most of this life: Goddess, Queen, Wife and Mother. It is all for you; everything I am, I owe to you. Everything I do, I do for you. I am me, because of you. I Am Shanelle And This Is My The Grand Rising
To contact Shanelle email: firstname.lastname@example.org