Sharvonne Williams pursues community service inspired by her mother and displayed through the Neal-Marshall Alumni Association


Community service runs deep within Sharvonne’s family—something her mother reinforced from an early age. “My mom made it normal. It was a part of growing up,” Sharvonne said. “She instilled in me that you must give in order to receive.”

Sharvonne’s mother ran a childcare service out of her home and served on her Neighborhood Association Council. She also worked with national service organizations. “My mom actually served as an AmeriCorps member in the '90s with the Harlem Children's Zone Inc. as a peace maker.”

Sharvonne’s love for service was inspired by her mother. “My mom poured her love of giving to me, and I truly thank her for that.”

Two women, one dressed in graduation clothing and kissing the cheek of the other woman.
A group of people behind a table.

Sharvonne began her civic journey at IUPUI as a graduate student obtaining her Master of Public Affairs degree. “I was interested in IUPUI because I knew it was a civic-minded institution,” she said. “It provided me with rare opportunities to give back to the community.”

Sharvonne believes the true definition of service is the ability to change lives and serve the community. As a Sam H. Jones scholar, a scholarship program through IUPUI that awards students who demonstrate leadership in community service pursuits, Sharvonne served with the Westside Community Development Cooperation, Indianapolis Urban League, and the Neal-Marshall Alumni Association (Neal-Marshall).

In Sharvonne’s opinion, working with Neal-Marshall was her most significant volunteer opportunity. Neal-Marshall originated in 1980, assisting IU’s African American community to engage in local and national IU alumni groups.

Throughout her time volunteering with Neal-Marshall’s Indianapolis Chapter, Sharvonne worked as secretary, communications chair member, scholarship committee member, and president. She felt the Neal-Marshall club set her up for success.

Neal-Marshall made a huge impact on my life by providing me the tools necessary to excel.

Sharvonne continues volunteering today, inspired by her mother’s passion for giving. She currently serves on the Neal-Marshall board and recently received the Outstanding Alumni Member award.

Volunteering with Neal-Marshall resonates deeply with Sharvonne’s identity. “As an African American woman, it means so much to me honestly. . . . I belong to something greater because of Neal-Marshall.”

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