2009 Tillman Scholar

Lyndsey Anderson

New York University
M.A., Museum Studies

Growing up in a suburb of a suburb of Des Moines, Lyndsey dreamed of leaving her small town to pursue something bigger than it was; bigger than she was. As a junior in high school, in January 2001, an Army recruiter made that aspiration a reality. Joining for many reasons, including the pursuit of service, financial support for college, and a desire to see the world’s people and places, all came to fruition after she and her unit deployed to Al Taji, Iraq in December 2003.

Her deployment overseas, which included “excavations” and explorations around her operating base, led to her interest in the study of arts and culture and degrees in Art History and Anthropology from the University of Iowa.

Upon graduation, she packed her belongings and moved across country to NYC to begin a graduate degree in Museum Studies at NYU. For six years, she worked as a Museum Educator, contractor, and consultant with a focus on diversity, inclusion, and ensuring cultural institutions had accessible and engaging programming for all audiences.

Her passion for service and providing access grew deeper, and she completed a M.S.Ed. at Bank Street College of Education, which led her to her role at America Needs You (ANY). ANY provides mentorship, holistic support, and professional development to highly ambitious first-generation students who come from low-income households. Like her, she believes in these students’ ability to succeed, not in spite of their obstacles, but because of the resilience they have developed after confronting them. She hopes to assist them in achieving the proverbial “American Dream.”