Meet Shreya and Cymone: Social Impact Summer Leadership Fellows

— Foundation For Girls Shreya Mantha and Cymone Butler are sharing their talents to help address upward economic mobility as Wells Fargo Foundation Social Impact Summer Leadership Fellows.

Shreya Mantha and Cymone Butler joined the Leading on Opportunity team in June as Wells Fargo Foundation Social Impact Summer Leadership Fellows to learn and contribute towards Leading on Opportunity's systemic and grassroots work to increase Charlotte’s economic mobility focused on equity, access and inclusion.

  • Shreya Mantha, a recent graduate of Providence Day School, will attend Stanford University in the fall to study Management Science and Engineering. Shreya is also the Founder and CEO of Foundation For Girls, a youth-led social venture that works to change the life-trajectory of at-risk and vulnerable girls. Foundation For Girls’ community of passionate coaches and skills-based programming in financial wellness, leadership, digital literacy, and health and well-being helps girls get on the path from dependence to independence and take charge of their lives. Founded in 2014, Foundation For Girls has impacted 2,050 girls, including refugees, homeless, teen moms, trafficking survivors, domestic violence and those in foster care, teaching them they are #GirlsWithoutLabels.
  • Cymone Butler is currently studying human services at Central Piedmont Community College and plans to transfer to the University of North Carolina Charlotte in Spring 2020 to complete her social work degree. She graduated from Forest Hills High School in 2018. Cymone met Shreya through Foundation For Girls. Cymone is currently a Youth Ambassador for Foundation For Girls, serving as a champion and a positive role model inspiring other girls to take charge of their lives. Cymone desires to help other girls like her.

Like Foundation For Girls, Leading on Opportunity agrees no one should be defined by labels placed upon them based on ethnicity, zip code, gender or backgrounds. Expanding social capital through access to opportunities enables talents to flourish. To date, Shreya and Cymone have worked on a number of projects during their fellowship including research and analysis of the top 5 and bottom 5 cities from the 2014 Chetty report, joining in community conversations with local advocates and nonprofit leaders. They have engaged with Leading on Opportunity Council members and local funders. They also had the opportunity to meet Harvard Opportunity Insights Policy Director David A. Williams and Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted, at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit/National Conference.

Research shows at critical intersection points along the way, investing in girls and women has a transformational impact in their lives, particularly when those from underrepresented groups have opportunities to learn from women they can relate to in leadership roles. "I have no doubt Shreya and Cymone will continue to serve as inspiration for other girls across our community and beyond. I can't wait to see and celebrate what lies ahead for them both," reflects Leading on Opportunity's Executive Director Dr. Stephanie Cooper-Lewter.