Shela Levante is a former MCC Vice President of Phi Theta Kappa and an honors scholar. She was selected for an All-Arizona Academic Team scholarship, which enabled her to earn a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University, emphasizing nonprofit leadership and management.
Her career path is personally informed with her experiences of being in the child welfare system. Shela is a strong advocate for community colleges and a champion for education. She credits MCC for offering a defining opportunity in her life. Being in foster care, she didn’t think college was possible. But hearing her classmates talking about their higher education plans, she went to the MCC Red Mountain Campus and found the information, funds and support she needed to enroll and succeed.
Her first job was with the Arizona Community Foundation, supporting its development and fundraising operations. In less than a year, she was hired as a Development Associate at Berkshire Children and Families in Massachusetts. As her skills and expertise grew, she moved up in leadership at foundations and philanthropic organizations, becoming Director of Development of Berkshire Community College in 2018.
She has an impressive record of community involvement, volunteering and serving on committees and in leadership roles. She served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for the Dependent Children's Services Division of the Arizona Supreme Court and the Arizona State Leadership Board for FosterEd. Shela is a board member for the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts; board president for The Junior League of Berkshire County Massachusetts, hosting a global dialogue on Peace, Power, and Prosperity for Women and Girls; served as program chair for the Berkshire Business and Professional Women Association; and on the Board for the Hillcrest Education Center and Hillcrest Educational Foundation. Recently earning her Master of Public Administration, her capstone project, Assessing Resilience in Opportunity Zones, focused on developing a framework for investors to consider community sustainability and economic resiliency in their development projects.
For a link to the full video of the ceremony, please visit MCC Hall of Fame 2021.