Leah Cabrera, a Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business first-year Full-time MBA student, has been awarded the René A. Simon Fellowship for 2023. The fellowship is awarded to one Scheller MBA student each year. Preference is given to qualified African American students with demonstrated financial need and additional consideration is given to students who are members of the Blacks in Business (BiB) organization.
“I feel privileged to be recognized amongst so many other amazing people in the Scheller community,” said Cabrera. "I am grateful for this scholarship because it relieves a lot of financial stress and allows me to immerse myself in my dream degree program. I have the resources and opportunity to educate, initiate social change, and make a positive impact on the lives of people in underserved communities.”
René A. Simon, a 2018 Evening MBA alumnus, established the fellowship in 2020 to support MBA students who serve in their communities.
“Leah’s involvement in the community and her excellence at work, define our ideal candidate. I am proud to be a small part of her journey," said Simon.
Cabrera is dedicated to community leadership in Scheller’s Full-time MBA program and the Atlanta business community. Before starting her MBA in August 2022, Cabrera worked at the Housing Innovation Lab in Atlanta to help improve access to affordable housing. Her hands-on experience at the Housing Innovation Lab has helped her with her studies at Georgia Tech. Besides working on her MBA, she is studying for her Master’s in City and Regional Planning.
Even with her demanding schedule as an MBA student, Cabrera’s commitment to driving positive change in the communities she serves hasn’t wavered. Since starting the Full-time MBA program, Leah has balanced her studies and Scheller commitments with interning at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta on their Community and Economic Development team.
As part of her internship, Cabrera engages stakeholders to improve the economic mobility and resilience of low-to-moderate-income communities working across the Southeast. She also conducts research to understand the impacts of disasters, climate change, and other shocks on communities' financial assets (specifically housing and labor markets) and determines barriers to equitable recovery for the six states they survey.
“I would have never imagined I would work at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta,” she said. “It is an honor to work amongst passionate, powerful, and knowledgeable people who I am constantly learning from! The work I do is so important and has allowed me to find a balance between my two degrees. I can truly say my internship at the Federal Reserve Bank has helped align my passion of creating more sustainable, resilient, and equitable communities.”
Leah is also expanding her leadership responsibilities while in the MBA program. She is a Full-time MBA Ambassador and is a first-year representative in the BiB Club.
“Blacks in Business (BiB) has allowed me to find community, joy, and a sense of belonging at Scheller. As a past Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) coordinator and teacher of color at a Predominantly white institute (PWI), I understand the value of being among others who look like you and share similar experiences and goals. I also appreciate the Net Impact group as I think it is critical for businesses to understand their impact on the development of cities.”