Shandy Manigault is a Charlotte local and fitness influencer who spends her days empowering women to be the best version of themselves. As an educator and fitness coach, Shandy knows how a positive message can impact the life of another, and she did just that as a Servant Leader Intern with Freedom School Partners over a decade ago.

Looking back to the summers of 2008 and 2009 Shandy was an SLI Shandy in a Level 1 classroom at the First Presbyterian Freedom School site. One of her favorite memories of her Freedom School summers was national training with the Children’s Defense Fund in Tennessee. “It was amazing seeing other interns from all around the country come together for a great cause.” Rooted in the 1964 Mississippi Freedom School Summer movement, Freedom School Partners is a part of the larger national Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School community and is celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year.

For Shandy, Freedom School is … “like one big, happy family. They embrace you like they’ve known you forever. It gives me chills just thinking about it!

Servant Leader Interns at national training in Tennessee. Shandy is in the center.

Shandy’s experience with Freedom School Partners was significant. “It allowed me to impact the lives of my students through helping them with reading, writing and building their confidence through cheers and chants!” She hopes that college students who are interested in spending the summer with Freedom School to take the leap of faith. “DO IT! You will not regret it! Best decision I ever made!!

Find out more about summer internship opportunities.