In October 2018, Melissa Sevy received the prestigious BYU Alumni Achievement Award, and no one can deny that she deserves it. Take a look at the way she is using her skills to bless others.
When you grow up as the only sister to four “rough and tumble” brothers, you are bound to receive the brunt of a fair share of tricks and pranks. Such was the case of Melissa Sevy, but she held her own. “I could prank, tease and fight like any of the rest of them,” she reflects. While Melissa’s childhood goals of becoming a geologist, writer, and dancer may not have happened, her adventurous and bold childhood perspective propelled her in positive directions.
As an undergraduate student, Sevy was an exceptionally hard worker. She received her bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in special education in 2004. As she finished her undergraduate degree, she received the BYU Student of the Year award for her work with individuals with disabilities in the Provo community. Sevy then went on to get her master’s degree in public health in 2009. She says of her time at BYU, “Learning went beyond the classroom and professional realm and ingrained in me [that] what I was learning was part of my life’s mission. And that has stayed with me and been a guiding star in my professional career ever since.”
Sevy took BYU’s slogan Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve to heart. The day after she graduated from BYU, she travelled to Uganda to work as a country coordinator for HELP International—an organization dedicated to helping individuals fight global poverty through sustainable programs. It was there that she reinforced her international focus, and soon after the trip, she co-founded Musana International. Then, in 2016, Sevy co-founded Fair Kind. Both of these companies work to employ and empower artisans in countries all over the world, from Uganda to Guatemala, by helping individuals break into the global market. In addition to Musana International and Fair Kind, Sevy recently founded Givv, which “helps companies develop their social impact and corporate social responsibility initiatives.” In discussing her goals for work, she says, “I would love to be a thought-leader in the arena of social impact. I want to help companies see that by doing business more ethically, it can not only improve the dedication of their workforce and customer base, but also improve bottom lines. I also hope to see my ventures grow to a place where I work less and chill more.”
Currently, Sevy is still running at full speed, and she has—deservedly—received several awards for her work. Beyond her business endeavors, Sevy is currently the president of Social Enterprise Alliance of Utah and was one of Utah Valley Business Q’s 40 under 40 for 2018. She was also a finalist in the Sego Award for Female Entrepreneurs for her social impact and service both abroad and in the United States. Even while working to empower others around the world, Sevy takes the time to reach back and empower individuals here in Provo: when she is in the United States, she teaches both at BYU and UVU as an adjunct instructor. Melissa Sevy makes Brigham Young University and the College of Life Sciences proud, and her outward focus continues to impact individuals and companies across the globe and at home.