An Overview of the Swarna Chalasani Economic Empowerment Fund

Holding a bachelor of science in engineering from New York University’s Polytechnic Institute, Rao Chalasani has contributed his technical knowledge to such notable financial firms as JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of America (BofA). The New Jersey resident maintains a commitment to philanthropy, supporting charities such as Doctors Without Borders and Childreach. In 2002, Rao Chalasani partnered with Sakhi for South Asian Women, an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence, to establish a scholarship in memory of his late sister, Swarna Chalasani.

Sakhi sponsors an Economic Empowerment Program to help survivors of domestic abuse achieve financial independence. The program helps prepare women for the workforce, offering ESL instruction, technology classes, and workshops on financial principles, entrepreneurship, and employee rights.

The Swarna Chalasani Economic Empowerment Fund is included within the Economic Empowerment Program. Created to honor Ms. Chalasani’s dedication to Sakhi and the empowerment of domestic violence survivors, the fund helps women reach both their academic and professional goals. Sakhi distributes an average of 20 awards of up to $1,500 during two yearly grant cycles. These provide financial aid for educational and vocational expenses such as tuition, books, and certification or licensing fees. The women benefitting from this support have gone on to complete bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in fields including computer science, social work, and biomedical engineering.