LaTrenda Leonard-Sherrill is one of the 2018 Carlow University Laureates. Although she is the recipient of the Young Laureate Award, which is presented to a Carlow graduate from the last decade, she has time-tested wisdom.
“You are never too old to learn,” says the self-confessed life-long learner. “That’s one of the things that I appreciated about the MBA program. I was in class with people of different ages and backgrounds, but we were able to create a community within the program.”
Creating community is important to Leonard-Sherrill outside of the classroom, too. As a principal at Pursuant, she uses innovative and creative methodology to assist organizations in building equity and creating access for the underrepresented in the community. Some of past and current community partners she has worked with include Remake Learning, the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Allegheny County Health Department, YouthPlaces, the Heinz Endowments, and the Pittsburgh Promise to name just a few.
She credits the MBA faculty, particularly former professor Rachel Chung, with engaging their students beyond their class work and research.
“One of the goals was to get us involved in other things beyond the classroom,” she said. “Many of the faculty are leaders in their field, and you can benefit from their knowledge. Plus, we had the opportunity to talk to other graduate students, and compare our experiences.”
In addition to her role with Pursuant, Leonard-Sherrill has experience as a consultant and entrepreneur. She has also served as deputy chief of education in the office of Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, and has helped to transform summer youth employment in the city. She serves on multiple boards in the Pittsburgh region, including Trying Together, where she is the board secretary, and Partner4Works, where she serves as an executive committee member. She is also an active volunteer with the Bartko Foundation, an organization that grants funds to minority mothers working toward self-sufficiency.
“Carlow is a place where can discover or hone your voice,” is her advice to other students. “Take advantage of the opportunity that the program provides and find your voice.”