Skip to main content

Shawn Bush

Shawn Bush, Program Manager. A white male with long hair and glasses.

Shawn joined ASLA in fall 2023 after years of working in education. Shawn’s experience includes advocating and accommodating for student needs as a high school special education teacher and learning behavior specialist. He has also designed and managed programs for a Chicago-based non-profit organization whose work centers on providing opportunities for young students to discover their identities as readers. Shawn is excited to work with undergraduate students because he values their expertise and the knowledge base that they bring to the collaborative nature of ASLA’s work. Shawn believes wholeheartedly in the values of community and support, and he is passionate about helping connect young people to their own leadership styles and meaningful experiences. Shawn has a master’s degree in special education and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy as well as law and society.

What is most meaningful to you about your work?
Facilitating spaces for young people to find their voices as leaders and build community with each other. And of course, providing resources that help students feel that they belong, that the knowledge gained through their lived experiences are valuable both in their studies and outside of the scope of being a student.

What’s some advice you would give to your college-age self?
Identity, and in turn creating meaning for yourself, is a lifelong existential project involving growth and connection. Be gentle to yourself, practice humility, and embrace the present rather than living in introspection.

What is a prior life experience that you draw on in your work?
I have had the privilege to get to work with learners from a wide variety of ages and backgrounds. I have learned to always prioritize people rather than structures, and that we all have our strengths and areas for growth. We can try out a number of different strategies to try to accomplish our goals, and it’s not only okay, but beneficial, to try things out without reaching the desired outcome.

What’s something you enjoy when you’re not at work?
I love reading, writing, trying out new restaurants, listening to music, performing comedy, watching the NBA and WNBA, and keeping my plants (especially my beloved bird of paradise) alive.