School of Continuing and Professional Studies > Faculty & Staff > Faculty Directory > Shana Wills

Shana Wills


Shana Wills is the Executive Director/Founder of Refugee Education & Adventure Challenge (REACH), which provides refugee youth and families with experiential learning opportunities focused on STEAM-related education and adventure sports.  She’s also an independent consultant for refugee and immigrant service providers in Chicago.  She has served as the Director of Chicago Public School’s International Newcomer Center for recently arrived refugee and immigrant high school students and their families and as the Executive Director of the International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA), a leading agency in the U.S. working for the protection of child victims of human trafficking.

From 2003 through 2008, she was the Director of Refugee & Immigrant Services at Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, coordinating both policy and program ends of the refugee and immigrant integration spectrum at three sites and developing nationally recognized vocational English language training models and youth leadership development initiatives. She has conducted field research on issues impacting vulnerable populations, including child soldiers, street children, and marginalized communities in Angola, Colombia, Eritrea, Mozambique, & South Africa, and warehoused refugee populations in Kenya and Tanzania. Shana earned an MA in African Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a BA in African St​udies through SCPS.