Darshana Shyamsunder, who was born in India and spent the early part of her childhood in Lagos, Nigeria, and her young adult years in Mumbai, is the Director of Community Impact at the United Way of Chester County.
The mission of the United Way of Chester County is to unite people and mobilize resources to build better lives and stronger communities.
Shyamsunder, whose first job was as a counselor for victims of human trafficking in Kamathipura, a red-light area of Mumbai, earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Human Development while living in Mumbai and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Villanova University. She credits all the wonderful mentors she’s had with having the biggest impact on her career.
“If I had to name one person, it would be my first supervisor when I worked at Comcast,” said Shyamsunder. “Her trust and providing me the freedom to learn by doing gave me the confidence to make mistakes and learn from them. As I’ve progressed in my own career, I’ve incorporated many of her qualities, like never compromising on the quality of work you perform and constantly exploring and trying new things.”
She is proudest of her work on the United Way of Chester County’s Mobile Home Project.
“I’m proud to be part of the team that designed and grew the program over the last two years from a small pilot to helping a total of 520 mobile homeowners, collectively saving them $470,246 in their annual property taxes,” said Shyamsunder.
“The program was also identified as the only one of its kind in the country by United Way Worldwide’s innovation team.”