Shy Averett, Microsoft

“We all could be a little less selfish”

Shy Averett

Shy Averett, Global Sr. Community Program and Events Manager for Microsoft, shared the story behind her title with us on Saturday, April 3rd and Sunday, April 4th, 2021.

A serial philanthropist and Detroit native, Shy Averett serves as the Global Sr. Community Program and Events Manager for Microsoft in Redmond, Washington where she leads EDU & D & I Programming. She is tasked with strategically creating opportunities for advancement in underrepresented communities, educating the masses, and bringing forth ground-breaking solutions to problems in communities often forgotten.

At an early age, Shy found a passion for helping those less fortunate than herself. Her passion for justice led to her join the NAACP at the age of twelve. She spent fifteen years with the organization following her passion of lifting those up in need and trying to make a difference every day. During those fifteen years, she had the distinct honor of being elected as the President for Michigan at the age of fifteen, making her the youngest president to serve in Michigan for the NCAAP. Shy also had the privilege and opportunity to serve the NAACP community more when she became the youngest member elected to the NAACP National Board of Directors at the age of sixteen. A position she held and served for eight years.

After high school, Shy attended the University of Toledo where she studied Project Management and African American Studies. After graduating, Shy had an opportunity to become the Regional Community Field Director for the Midwest Youth Advocacy Program where she directed and led over 15,000 youth and college students from across the country through community initiatives, education, social activism, and financial empowerment.

In 2017, Shy created Microsoft’s MANCODE Program to help underrepresented minority boys grow a passion for STEM related careers. Over the next few years, MANCODE would grow and develop into a program that not only teaches boys basic coding in areas such as C+ or HTML, but to also bring African American male mentors to teach and inspire attendees everywhere. By the end of 2020, almost 70,000 young boys across the US have gone through MANCODE program.

Working with youth is not only part of her career but it is ingrained in her life as well. Shy regularly volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Club, Christ Child House, VIP Mentoring, Urban Link Village, Detroit Impact, COTS, and Covenant House. Knowing the importance of a positive role model in a child’s upbringing, Shy has given countless kids the support and inspiration they need in order to be successful.

With 20 years of service, Shy has been recognized for her many accomplishments and dedication to youth. She was awarded the Gloster B. Current Leadership award in 2015 due to her prominent leadership skills and dedication to her community. In 2016, Shy received the National Leadership Award from Pepsico. Other prominent awards that she has received include the Microsoft Rich Walker International Employee of the Year Award, BAM D&I Champion for 2020, the State of Michigan Youth of the Year Award, Microsoft Platinum & Founders Club Award 2020, the Presidential award for Community Excellence, the Top 40 under 40, and the highly esteemed Kentucky Colonel Leadership Award, a national award that is awarded yearly by the Governor of Kentucky for exemplary national leadership and service. Previous recipients are Muhammad Ali, former President Bill Clinton, and Tiger Woods.

Sue Says

Some of us go through life searching for our “calling.” Others find it early on, and spend their lives doing exactly that.  Shy is certainly one of those people. At age 15 she became the youngest President of the NAACP in Michigan, and has been working to help others rise up ever since.  Her story is a beautiful example of the power in being ” a little less selfish.” 

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