Sharon M. Clemons "Butterflies" Fund

Est. 2020 by Erik Clemons

Sharon and Erik Clemons with daughters Kiara Osborn, Nyle Clemons, Nia Clemons and Kai Clemons. Courtesy of the Clemons family.

Sharon and Erik Clemons shared a love that few dream of achieving. Over their thirty years together, they cultivated the closest of friendships rooted in mutual respect and understanding. Together they raised four beautiful daughters, who Sharon called their "Butterflies." It is these "Butterflies" that inspired the name of the Fund created in 2020 to memorialize Sharon's life after her passing on November 3, 2020.

Those who knew Sharon knew she was a hard working, skilled Master Stylist and award winning entrepreneur with a heart of gold.

Prior to her passing, Sharon had skillfully crafted a career in the hair and beauty industry, putting her talents and ministering presence to great use. In 2005, she opened Sharon Joy Salon in New Haven with her sister, Joy, who recalls the pair had hopes of one day opening up an Academy of beauty — a place where young women could tap into what they loved.

Sharon worked tirelessly to serve as a role model for teens and justice-involved (previously
incarcerated) women, giving countless hours to mentor them. Her sister remembers that they would go to the halfway house and teach the little things that many take for granted — basic grooming, how to care for yourself, proper attire to wear for job interviews.

Sharon also started an annual Christmas Give Back to assist single mothers with holiday
shopping for their children. She was truly in tune to the needs of people, endeavoring once a month to be a true blessing to someone donating her time to the hair styling needs of families with deceased loved ones.

Sharon instilled in her daughters the importance of education, kindness to others, and being beautiful inside and out. She was overjoyed at becoming a grandmother and treasured her time with her granddaughter.

The Sharon M. Clemons "Butterflies" Fund will make grants that honor Sharon's life as an accomplished and compassionate human being, beloved wife and mother of four bright young women. The initial emphasis of the Fund will be to recommend grants that support scholarships for African American young women at the alma maters of Sharon's daughters: Smith College, Tuskegee University, Hampton University and Spelman College.

Click here to read about the inaugural 2021 grants distributed from the "Butterflies" Fund.

Click here to read about the 2023 grants distributed from the "Butterflies" Fund.

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Sharon M. Clemons "Butterflies" Fund