Student Skills Specialist
Shawna Graichen is one of our most enthusiastic Student Skills Specialists. She is passionate about supporting individuals in becoming self-determined agents of their own lives, as they transition from adolescence into young adult life. She supports each student in the unique ways they need to find college success by building connections and developing campus, community, and resource navigation skills,
In her student-centered, student-driven work, Shawna advances the idea of inter-dependence rather than independence. “Of course, we strive for independence, but we are always part of a community,” she says. “As adults, we all rely on various individuals for different aspects of our lives… Each of us has a network of friends, family, colleagues, teachers, coaches, mentors, community members we rely on. Self-reliance is a matter of making great choices about building your own support team and knowing who to turn to and when.”
Shawna believes that fear of failure limits opportunities and that learning is accelerated in natural contexts. Thus, experiential learning can involve calculated risk-taking in service to self-determination and a student’s vision for their future.
Before joining Focus Collegiate, Shawna served as the Vocational Director and Transition Coordinator at the Ivy Street School in Brookline, Massachusetts. She has nearly 10 years of experience supporting young adults with neurodevelopmental, neurological, and behavioral health needs in community-based, home-based, and private school settings.
Shawna received her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from Simmons University, is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist, a Certified Nursing Assistant and has certifications in Crisis Prevention Intervention, CPR, and First Aid.Email Shawna Graichen