Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

LaShai Campbell: On surviving, thriving, paying it forward and giving it back

Take a firsthand look at LaShai Campbell’s story—from advisee to inspiration. Learn how this humble helper in our community pushed through her challenges and started meeting local needs through her multifaceted nonprofit organization, Restoring the Breach.

The fanfare of “Pomp and Circumstance” always makes me misty-eyed, and the emergence of thousands of eager graduates at last week’s commencement ceremonies makes this a fitting time to share the story of a graduate who emerged triumphant from her trials and is paying it forward in Statesboro and the surrounding area.

It’s not unusual to meet students who inspire and excite us with their dreams. Their big ideas fuel bigger visions of a world still out of view. They soon graduate and—with luck—make at least a few of those dreams a reality.

What is unusual is to meet a student who not only inspires and excites, but persists through their failures and disappointments, and comes out on the other side giving hope to others and shining their light in the process. That's LaShai (Joshua) Campbell, owner of Restoring the Breach, a local 501(c)3 organization celebrating its seventh year of service to the community. 

LaShai poses in front of boxes of donations.

It was 2014 when I met LaShai, and she fit the description of many students in Georgia Southern University’s School of Accountancy. Bright, eager, organized—future plans clearly and carefully mapped out, with a color-coded timeline, in the pages of her notebook.

We were meeting to discuss her plan to complete Georgia Southern’s lauded Master of Accounting (MAcc) program, and I would serve as her advisor through the process.

Flash forward to 2024, it’s noisy, festive, LaShai and I are surrounded by the smell of sizzling fajitas at El Maguey’s, and we are both laughing over the unexpected joy and the mess that the last ten years have brought:

She is not a CPA, she did not go into a traditional accounting role, she is still living in Statesboro, and yet here she is: Thriving, happily married, a Triple Eagle, and filled with joy for her future, her growing nonprofit organization, Restoring the Breach, and her community.

Planning for change

“They say if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans,” she quotes as she shares some of her story with me over lunch. We had stayed in touch over the last decade and I had watched, cried, and cheered as she coped with her carefully made plans turning upside down, then rose up to create something beautiful for our community out of the pieces. 

When I met her as a promising and eager accounting student, she briefly mentioned the idea of creating a nonprofit organization, and she said she already had a name picked out. I remember the fleeting conversation and then the return to matters at hand: registration, CPA exam preparations, conversations about electives. But something else was afoot.

Neither of us could have known, but over the next ten years, she would need her natural accounting-savvy and business skills, which led her to complete a MAcc and an MBA, and she would need the years of empathy and grit she’d developed after losing her mother, moving across the country as a sophomore in high school, and spending nearly all of her free time volunteering.

Coping with defeat

She grew up in Los Angeles to parents who taught her the value of hard work and education. When her mother died when LaShai was only 12, she and her family moved to be close to their family in Dallas, Georgia. Those years were tough as she struggled with grief and culture shock, but it was then that she discovered her love of numbers. “It was old school accounting, with ledgers and lines,” that she fell in love with through a careers program in her high school.

So when she graduated from high school in 2009, she majored in Accounting at Georgia Southern and expected a clear path—and while she succeeded academically, met her husband, now the Assistant Principal of Statesboro STEAM Academy, and enjoyed volunteering with her sorority Delta Sigma Theta, she couldn’t stop seeing people who were struggling in our community. 

“I saw all of these needs, and I wanted to meet them,” she shared. 

As she continued on her educational journey, she came to a fork in the road: She nearly passed the first part of the CPA exam, but not the following part, and she realized the plan she had set in motion was grinding to a halt. But she didn’t let it stop her. Instead, she made the choice to channel her disappointment in a new direction.

Restoring the Breach after school tutors and students.

She started leaning into the things she cared about: her full-time job in financial services for Georgia Southern, her passion for serving the community, and that dream of starting a nonprofit organization.

“I felt so defeated, but in the end, it opened so many new opportunities for me, like studying abroad,” she shared.

Restoring the Breach

In 2017, she and her husband, Philip Campbell, officially launched their nonprofit, Restoring the Breach, with the goal of “spreading unconditional love through righteous acts.” 

The organization’s name comes from Isaiah 58:6-12 and inspires them to “repair the breach,” or gaps, in the community. Sometimes there are knowledge gaps, sometimes gaps are physical needs, sometimes they are gaps in local services, she explains.

Image of organization's mission statement.

One thing is certain, Restoring the Breach has made an incredible impact on the Bulloch County community through direct services, collaboration, and raising awareness and support for other area nonprofit organizations. Her organization frequently works alongside other nonprofit organizations, like Fostering Bulloch Hope Chest, and the Statesboro Regional Library, where LaShai's knack for finding and filling in gaps, her creative approach to solving problems, and her collaborative mindset, enable her to think outside the box. 

Restoring the Breach primarily aims to address needs through their programs in Education, Wellness, and Outreach. They offer a free tutoring program and numerous events throughout the year that touch on a multitude of needs: a free community clothing drive in February, a "Sharing the Harvest" Thanksgiving event, and free literacy and community outreach programs throughout the year. Their recent Community Baby Shower, now in its sixth year, served 140 families.

Restoring the Breach
Restoring the Breach volunteers help put together beds at Open Hearts Community Mission as one of their first projects.

They also host an annual "Repack your Backpack" event in January, when many children may have run out of school supplies from the typical fall events, and a Back the Teacher Bash—a school supply drive with a twist—the supplies are for teachers. It's LaShai's attention to these kinds of "gaps" that make her such an asset to our community. 

“I don’t want anyone to feel unseen or left out. It’s a Biblical command to give,” and they do.

They share a space in the Outreach Center at 515 Denmark Street with The Button, Youth Career Camp, and Pink Huddle, and they have a student chapter on the campus of Georgia Southern University, where she is now the Business Manager for the Division of Student Affairs and a proud Triple Eagle, having completed her B.B.A. ('12), MAcc ('15), and MBA ('16) degrees. 

Look for LaShai

Look for Lashai at Restoring the Breach, on the podcast, TitheLife, which she co-hosts with her brother, Lloyd Joshua, at her financial consulting business, Love Serve Educate, and on Amazon in a devotional she co-authored with her husband, “21 Prayers for Teachers.”