As a girl born last into a traditional Chinese family in the 1960s — when boys were valued over girls and birth order often decided a child’s future in the culture — Cynthia learned about the concept of inequity. She was fortunate. Her family moved to America when she was a year old, so she had access to education from kindergarten through college. The births of many girls like Cynthia, however, were viewed as burdens eliminated through adoption. Other girls who remained with their families were brought up to be wives or caregivers for their parents, while their male counterparts received education and resources.
Thoughts of these girls and other people who are devalued because of their gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, economic status or other personally defining characteristics, dismay and motivate Cynthia. She wants to change the world for them through her position and relationships. Today, she is the executive director of The Boone Family Foundation and uses a $5 million annual budget to support nonprofit organizations that advance equity for women and girls, improve the educational quality of life for children and promote environmental stewardship. Cynthia is also a Founding Member and Chair for the Orchard Giving Circle, whose mission is to increase awareness of the local Asian population, community needs and knowledge about philanthropy.