After New College, Still Serving Her Sarasota Community

SRQ Story Project Partner Spotlight


Abigail Oakes graduated from New College of Florida in 2014, and the lessons she learned on campus have kept her in Sarasota, working to improve her community.

Abby studied sciences, but took her academic work in novel directions: For her senior project, she used sailing to teach high school students about physics and math.

She also spent much of her time doing community service. She tutored children at Newtown’s Robert L. Taylor Community Center, and was a founding member of SailFuture, a non-profit that started at New College and uses sailing to mentor at-risk youth.

Now Abby is manager of nonprofit services for the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, where she helps the region’s charities be more effective in doing their good works.

“I get to work with organizations in multiple fields and on multiple topics, and see how they interact,” Abby says. “I love what I do because I get to be a tiny part of the good that each organizations contributes to our community!”

Abby is also pursuing a master’s degree in non-profit management at Northeastern University through its distance-learning program. She already sees the degree helping her in her work.

“I’m looking forward to how I can grow and have an impact on the community here at the Foundation. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else,” she said. “And it all started with the things I did at New College.”


New College of Florida

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