Irene Fernando moved from California in 2003 to attend the University of Minnesota, where she earned her Bachelors of Business and Masters of Education. As a teenager, Irene co-founded Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF), a youth leadership and community service non-profit headquartered in Minneapolis. With her leadership, over 22,000 students contributed 313,000 service hours to the community. Currently, Irene is a Bush Fellow and works at Thrivent Financial. Community engagement includes Global Shapers Minneapolis Hub, Carlson School of Management Board, and Alpha Gamma Delta Alumnae Chapter. Irene made her TEDx debut in 2012 with a more recent talk in 2014. In 2013, Irene was recognized as 40 under 40 by the Minneapolis St Paul Business Journal, as well as among the Real Power 50 by Minnesota Business Magazine.