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Volunteer spotlight – Pellie Anderson

December 9, 2020

Pellie Anderson

Pellie Anderson began volunteering with UP! (University Prep) in 2018. Since then, Pellie has provided students with homework support, study skills, and organizational skills for two hours every week.  

As Canal Alliance’s career access and success program, UP! supports middle school, high school, and college students to prepare for and complete a four-year college degree.  

For middle and high school students, UP! relies heavily on volunteers to support students with their school work needs on a daily basis. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire in-person youth program for the 2020-2021 school year was shifted to online distance learning. While other volunteers weren’t able to continue in their roles using an online platform, Pellie maintained her commitment to supporting students virtually.  

When asked about her experience volunteering with UP! students, Pellie said, “I love volunteering for UP! because it’s a supportive environment for students. As a volunteer, not only do I get to support students’ development of important skills, but I also help them develop more confidence in themselves. It has been wonderful to experience their growth and maturity over the years.” 

Henry Velazquez, UP! Middle School program supervisor said, “from the moment that Pellie started volunteering, we knew that she would be great at working with one of the girls in our program. This particular student needed individual attention to help keep her on task and be a little more prepared. Over the last two years, Pellie has gone above and beyond making sure that this student minimized her missing assignments and become more organized.” 

“Pellie has been working with the same student since she was in the 6th grade. She has built a relationship with the student by being calm, patient and understanding. Even though at times it has been tough with the amount of work, she continues to show up and support the student however she can. Pellie truly believes in the potential of the student that she works with.” 

Pellie remarks, “I have had a varied career – as a prosecutor, a pastry chef, a non-profit advocate, and more, but the most important job of my life is as a mom. My two children have graduated from college and I believe that all children deserve to have a great educational foundation to support their goals in life. I want to be able to provide the support to other students that I was able to give to my own children throughout their education so that they can successfully pursue their dreams.” 

We are deeply grateful for Pellie’s enduring dedication and commitment to Canal Alliance’s mission, and particularly to UP! students and families. 


Learn more about the UP! program here: https://canalalliance.org/services/graduate-from-college/ Learn about our volunteer opportunities here: https://canalalliance.org/get-involved/volunteer/

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