Fairygodboss

Sreya Atluri, a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Kenan Flagler School of Business, has been impacting her global community since she was a High School Sophomore. In 2012, she founded CARE (Creating Awareness in Research and Education), which addresses educational disparities by distributing educational resources to communities around the world. 

Now, on top of her responsibilities as the CEO and founder of CARE, she serves her campus community in many roles — from Student Body Treasurer to member of the Dean's Advancement Council. Atluri spoke to us about how she got started with her service endeavors, and how CARE has impacted communities in the United States and abroad. She also shared her best advice for young women who want to get involved and make change. 

How are you making an impact on your school or local community?

I’ve always been drawn to the idea of making a difference in the community, and am the CEO and founder of Creating Awareness in Research and Education (CARE) and a former Executive Director for Growth and Inspiration through Volunteering and Education (GIVE) — both non-profit organizations striving to address educational disparities.

Founded in 2012 with a mission of distributing educational and STEM resources to underprivileged communities, CARE has supplied over 3,000 dictionaries and curriculum textbooks to rural Indian schools and community centers. It grants recurring merit-based scholarships covering tuition, room and board, and all expenses for students to attend high school in India. It manages and publicizes winter jackets drive in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. It sponsors school and art supplies for students, teachers, and community centers in the Washington D.C. area, North Carolina, New Orleans, and the Dominican Republic. And last but not least, it hosts computer literacy, vocational training, and mentoring workshops for impoverished individuals in India. We've impacted over 6,000 people to date. 

In college, as a Robertson Scholar at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill/Duke University, I'm double majoring in B.S. Business Administration and Economics, with a minor in Entrepreneurship. I'm interested in sustainable development and  leveraging education to build stronger, more resilient communities. I’ve pursued my interests on campus through numerous organizations and in a diverse variety of leadership positions, ranging from student government to business school organizations to international affairs.

During my summers, I've explored exciting opportunities from interning as a Investment Banking Summer Analyst at Goldman Sachs and Sophomore Summer Analyst at Wells Fargo Securities to positions at the National Institutes of Health to serving as a Teaching Assistant for the TOMODACHI Toshiba Science & Technology Leadership Academy. I’m incredibly excited to be starting as an Investment Banking Analyst at Goldman Sachs in New York City after graduating!

What made you passionate about the project or role that's allowing you to make a difference?

CARE has been an incredibly rewarding and inspiring journey, and the opportunity to engage with social entrepreneurship and explore sustainable economic development has been powerful and so meaningful. The role of businesses in society has assumed a new paradigm beyond simply providing goods and services. There’s an increased cognizance of the necessity to adopt a sustainable management framework that positively impacts developmental needs of local markets while symbiotically enhancing performance. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to explore this theme throughout my work thus far, and look forward to continuing to do so in my future endeavors.

How did you get in this position? Were you elected, selected, or did you start the project yourself? What steps did you take to fulfill this role? Did you study something specific, join this club first year, etc.

I founded CARE in 2012, and still serve as Founder and CEO today. The creation of CARE was driven by a recognition of the value of education in promoting sustainable economic development, especially in underprivileged communities. As such, CARE seeks to invest in youth leadership and youth entrepreneurship, building towards a sustainable and resilient futures.

What other activities, projects, or jobs do you do at school? Spill your resume!

I currently serve as the Undergraduate Student Body Treasurer as part of the Student Government Executive Branch, the Life After Carolina Committee Co-Head for the Senior Class Marshals, the Director of Finance for the Undergraduate Business Ambassadors, and an Honors Ambassador for Honors Carolina, in addition to serving on the Dean's Advancement Council and being involved as an Apprentice in the Adams Apprenticeship Program and an active member of the Buckley Public Service Scholars Program. In addition, I've studied abroad in Copenhagen and Hong Kong as a GLOBE Scholar through the Kenan-Flagler Business School, and serve as the Alumni Relations/Professional Development Chair for GLOBE. 

What is an accomplishment you're proud of?

I'm incredibly proud of the work we've been able to do with CARE and the impact we've had on over 6,000 individuals worldwide — bringing communities, partners, governmental organizations, businesses, and social initiatives together to create impact. Our work is global, with branches/evolving developments across Asia, South America, Africa, and the United States. Working towards long-term sustainability and development is a passion of mine, and CARE has been such a special experience.

What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?

Life is inevitably full of transitions, but taking advantage of exciting opportunities that come your way can be incredibly exciting and rewarding. Studying abroad for a year through Kenan-Flagler's GLOBE Program and pursuing my passion for international business was an exceptional experience and one that I'm so grateful for. While it can be daunting to spend a year of college abroad, I'm so thankful I delved into the opportunity —  the experiences I've been able to have, the memories I've created, and the lifelong friendships I've formed are so invaluable. 

What advice do you have for women who want to make a difference at their school?

Dive in and do it! Find your passion and what you're excited about, believe in yourself, and give it your all. I think that pursuing your passion and something that inspires and motivates you is incredibly important, and the renewed energy and enthusiasm that you can bring to what drives you is exceptionally powerful. 

Who is YOUR Fairygodboss? Why?

When I think of women who are exceptionally strong and courageous  — and who inspire others through their work —  my mother and sister are the first ones who come to mind. I know that no matter what I need, they will be there for me — with their constant compassion, thoughtfulness, and enthusiasm. I sincerely appreciate how my mother and sister support me in all of my endeavors, allowing me the freedom to explore my own passions while lending invaluable strength and support. They have taught me the importance of expressing my opinions and upholding my beliefs, along with instilling in me a strong commitment to giving back to the community and making a difference in the world.

Lightning Round: What's Your Karaoke Song?
"Love Story" by Taylor Swift.

Lightning Round: What's Your Favorite Book?
"Pride and Prejudice."

Lightning Round: What's Your Favorite Movie?
"Inception."

Lightning Round: What's Your Favorite Quote?

"When there's a will, there's a way."

Fairygodboss is all about celebrating female leaders — so every other week, we celebrate a young woman who is making a difference in her school or local community. Do you know a student leader who’s making an impact? Celebrate her and thank her by nominating her here.

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