• Nadia

GIRL POWER

I talked to five incredible women on what girl power means to them and any advice they would like to share for women who want to feel powerful and how they can pursue their dreams. With each person coming from a different background and career, they all had the same message - the most important thing us women can do is to support and empower each other. And I absolutely loved that.



Dr. Nekessa Remy



Dr. Nekessa Remy is a leading health and wellness professional & expert with a passion for sports injury prevention and enabling others to be their own health champions. Her philosophy stems from her believe that healthy living is a RIGHT and not a privilege. As a sought-after health and wellness expert for various media outlets, she has been featured on, CTV News, Breakfast Television and Global Morning. She has also written for national publications including Best Health Magazine, Optimyze Magazine and Byblacks.com. Through her partnerships Running Room, Nissan Canada and Lolë she has educated athletes and non-athletes on various injury management strategies. Her dedication to patient care has also awarded her the Patient Care award presented by the Ontario Chiropractic Association in 2017.


What does girl power mean to you?

Girl Power to me means, being in charge of your own destiny. It means believing in yourself and knowing that you are worthy of success and happiness.


Who are your biggest inspirations?

I absolutely love television writer, actress, author and director Issa Rae. This woman went from creating, acting in and writing her own YouTube show, to creating and starring in HBO’s critically acclaimed sitcom Insecure. She is also in the works to create two more shows for the network. She is a serious BOSS! Not only is she shining bright, she is doing her part to ensure that other Black actors and creators are getting their share of the spotlight too.


What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I am obsessed with the Real Housewives. I have seen every series from New York to Beverly Hills and can probably name every cast member. What can I say, watching that show relaxes me.


What do you think of female bonding and rivalry in the industry/work space?

I think female rivalry is too over hyped. Whether is Jennifer Aniston vs Angelina Jolie or Cardi B vs Nicki Minaj, pitting females against each other seems to garter a lot of attention and often is overblown by the media. My experience as an entrepreneur has brought me into contact with many other female entrepreneurs and I have never experienced anything but support and compassion. I find women’s business networking to be a key to my success. Women are much more likely to be doing business with me, because in my opinion, they better understand the importance of building relationships.


What are you most proud of that you accomplished and what is a goal you want to accomplish before the year ends?

I am most proud that my clinic, “The Chiropractic Office”, celebrated 8 years in business this past spring. Due to this success I have been able to set a new goal of expanding my clinic to offer even more services. We are currently under renovations and later this fall, “The Chiropractic Office & Health Associates” will be opening and offering new services including psychotherapy and pelvic floor physiotherapy.


What is your go-to song that makes you feel empowered?

So easy, Chaka Khan’s I’m every woman. I’m singing it in my head as I write this.


Where would your dream girls trip be?

I would love to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. We could eat and party and make our own version of “Girls Trip” the movie. But a more PG version, of course!


What is the best advice you can give to girls that want to be powerful or pursue their dreams?

First and foremost, believe in yourself. Believe that you are capable of doing great things. Find a mentor. Being able to bounce ideas off of someone who has been successful in their own field, is extremely valuable. Learning from their experiences can save you from making some costly mistakes but also provide you with tips and tools to keep encouraged along your journey.




Leen Habbal



Leen Habbal is a recent UCLA graduate that majored in Communications and Entrepreneurship. She is pursuing a career in digital marketing while also running a few projects on the side, such as creating a blog associated with her social media presence sharing tips about travel, fashion, and more. She’s also starting a YouTube channel highlighting self-development tips and soon creating a show about female entrepreneurs.


What does girl power mean to you?

Girl power means that women all over the world, no matter their background, no matter their culture, are able to reach their full potential in every aspect of life without any cultural restrictions.


Who are your biggest inspirations?

I personally get inspired by any woman going out of her way to establish herself in our male dominated world. Whether it is an old lady selling flowers on the street hustling her way through life, or a powerful CEO that is making major decisions affecting millions of lives. Every woman has a unique story that makes it inspiring.


What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I don’t like or drink coffee. This piece of information usually shocks the people around, and I get questions like who did you get through university? How are you getting through work now? Honestly, I just get my 8 hours of sleep everyday. Also I’m a huge tea person (so it makes up for it to some extent).


What do you think of female bonding and rivalry in the industry/work space?

Before answering this question, I think it’s important to understand that other people’s success does not come at the cost of your own success. In fact, the more you surround yourself with successful people, the more you are likely to becomes successful yourself. For that reason, I believe women should always stick together and encourage each other to do better because they will also be helping themselves. On the other hand, rivalry will only pull them down since the time spent being jealous could’ve been used to make them greater than the same person they’re jealous of.


What are you most proud of that you accomplished and what is a goal you want to accomplish before the year ends?

My proudest accomplishment yet is graduating from my dream university UCLA. It proved to be that with the right mindset and hard work, anyone can accomplish and achieve things they might’ve thought to be impossible. A goal I want to achieve before the end of the year is create and release my female entrepreneurs’ show that I am working on currently for YouTube. I am really excited to see how it’ll go.


What is your go-to song that makes you feel empowered?

This is going to be cheesy, but my go to song that makes me feel empowered is the melody of the ocean - literally. There’s this magic in the sound of the waves and deep view of the ocean that makes you reflect on everything you’ve done and makes you realize how much there still is to do in this huge world. It never fails to disappoint!


Where would your dream girls trip be?

Probably the Maldives. It has the most beautiful nature. Clear blue beaches. Beautiful greenery. Everything you would need for a relaxing vacation with your girlfriends.


What is the best advice you can give to girls that want to be powerful or pursue their dreams?

The best advice I can give, is to never limit yourself. When I first started considering career options, I thought of career paths that were “easy” and “simple” so that I can fit into the traditional woman role that at one point will need to only raise kids and take care of her home. And although I respect any woman that actually wants that, I realized this role does not fit me at all. I was limiting myself to career options that adopt the cultural norms I did not believe in. So I ditched that mentality and began pursuing and trying every single thing that merely interested me (that also aligned with my values) and I couldn't have been happier and more proud of myself since. Moral of the story, once you realize and believe that there is NO limit, you will begin to make wonders and the path to success becomes visible.




Ursula Uriarte



Ursula is a 40 year old avid reader, mother of 4 and travel enthusiast from Miami, FL. With a background in photography Ursula started taking photos of her current reads to connect with other book lovers and five years later she has amassed a pretty strong following on Instagram. Among her favorite things are, of course books, coffee, heavy metal, tattoos and traveling. She has found a unique way to incorporate a bit of all her passions into her photography.



What does girl power mean to you?

I think girl power really means being happy with yourself and try as much as possible not to compare yourself to others, I think this allows you to reach your max potential which in turn is power at the tip of your fingers to make things possible whether it’s on a personal level or on a bigger scale.


Who are your biggest inspirations?

Single mothers are my biggest inspiration, as a mother of 4 I know how hard it is to be a working parent while well being a parent and having a partner supporting/helping you. Single mothers are like superheroes, they are the definition of girl power.


What’s something most people don’t know about you?

That I worked at a circus when I was in my late teens.


What do you think of female bonding and rivalry in the industry/work space?

Bonding is a powerful tool I think, women cheering for other women, supporting each other is the best way to overcome some of the inequality we face on the daily basis. Rivalry I think sometimes gets confused with a healthy dose of competition, it’s good to push yourself to be better, to get that job you have your eye on for example, and sometimes you have to strive to be better than that other person who also has an eye on that job. Rivalry at times in my opinion has a negative connotation, not because competing for something is bad, but because sometimes people think it’s okay to compete by bringing others down in the process, and in order to be your best self and strive to reach your goals you don’t have to bring others down especially not your fellow women.


What are you most proud of that you accomplished and what is a goal you want to accomplish before the year ends?

I think getting my college degree is what I’m most proud, my twenties were full of ups and downs, more downs than up actually, and I didn’t really start college until I had 3 children already and was in my late twenties, so receiving that diploma felt great. The most important goal for this year is to have started a savings fund to buy a house.


What is your go-to song that makes you feel empowered?

This may not be everyone’s cup of tea and if you are gonna check it out be aware that it’s quite explicit, but there is no other song that makes me want to get up and do all the things than Antivist by Bring Me the Horizon closely followed by Throne also by Bring Me The Horizon.


Where would your dream girls trip be?

Australia


What is the best advice you can give to girls that want to be powerful or pursue their dreams?

Stop comparing yourself to others, whether it is on the physical sense, or talent, work, lifestyle. In this social media age it’s easy to beat yourself down by looking at other’s life on the screen, it’s a flawed comparison nobody can really see what other people’s lives are really like behind that screen, so don’t judge your own success based on what you see other’s have accomplished, concentrate on your life and making if the best one you can live.




Keshia Sih-Tseng



Keshia is 28 years old and a huge Disney fanatic and she is also obsessed with musicals, but her absolute favourite one is Hamilton! She goes to Disneyland about 3-4 times a week, and loves sharing her love of Disney and fashion on her Instagram page.


What does girl power mean to you?

Girl power is all about empowering women to be their best selves. It’s about being treated as equals to our male counterparts.


Who are your biggest inspirations?

My biggest inspirations are my closest friends. They inspire me to be better, and to be who I am, unapologetically. They encourage me to be a positive influence on others. My other inspiration is the Spice Girls! They were the first females I looked up to who proudly talked about girl power!


What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I think something that most people don’t know about me is that I can’t cook! I rely heavily on my husband to help take care of the cooking at home. But I think it’s great that in our marriage we are treated as equals. I don’t have to be the “domestic one” in our relationship.


What do you think of female bonding and rivalry in the industry/work space?

I think female bonding is great in a work environment! I’m so lucky that at my day job, most of the people in my department are female. There’s no rivalry among all of us and I think it’s so beautiful to be able to encourage and support each other. It makes me sad to know that at other places there is female rivalry and competition. There is room for all of us and we should be supporting our sisters in the workplace!


What are you most proud of that you accomplished and what is a goal you want to accomplish before the year ends?

I am most proud of starting therapy this year! It was something that has weighed heavy on my heart the last couple of years, and I’m so happy I finally did it! Therapy has completely changed my life for the better. A goal I’d like to accomplish before the year ends is to reach 10K on my Instagram! It has always been a dream of mine to start a blog and share my love of fashion (and now Disney) with other people. It’s crazy to think that my account has grown to what it is now!


What is your go-to song that makes you feel empowered?

There are a lot of different songs that make me feel empowered, however, I think the most recent one that comes to mind would have to be “She Used To Be Mine” by Sara Bareilles. It’s from the musical “Waitress” and the main character sings this when she hits the point in the show where she realizes her life is not the way she had planned for it to turn out. But through this song, she empowers herself to get out of her abusive relationship and live a life that she wants. Seeing another woman stand up for herself and be strong is what empowers me!


Where would your dream girls trip be?

My dream girls trip would probably be at Disney World! Or maybe Tokyo Disney! Somewhere that Disney would be involved for sure.


What is the best advice you can give to girls that want to be powerful or pursue their dreams?

Just start! Whatever your dream is, start working towards it. There’s never a “perfect” time to do what you want to do. Every little step you take towards your dream counts!




Alexa Fernando



Alexa is a creative producer/photographer based in Toronto. She has an extensive portfolio including Google, Team Canada and Visit California. She is passionate about storytelling, finding and sharing the beauty in the everyday. She enjoys bringing people together (especially through food) and building community #fromonlinetooffline.


What does girl power mean to you?

Girl power means supporting other girls by giving them voices, mentorship and resources where/when it is lacking.


Who are your biggest inspirations?

All the women in my family- my mother, my grandmother, my cousins. Not only were they such strong female figures I looked up to but they were also the ones with the biggest hearts.


What’s something most people don’t know about you?

Most people don’t know that I was making websites and graphics before I got into photography.


What do you think of female bonding and rivalry in the industry/work space?

I’ve been lucky enough to never experience rivalry in the industry/work space. So far all the women I’ve met and/or crossed paths with have been really supportive of each other.


What are you most proud of that you accomplished and what is a goal you want to accomplish before the year ends?

I’m proud to be in Toronto. I moved to the city with no set plans so still be here four years later, living on my own terms, is something to be grateful for. One goal I have for this year is to host a mini art show featuring works by other creatives. I see so many talented people out there that needs to be recognized!


What is your go-to song that makes you feel empowered?

New Heart - Mosaic MSC


Where would your dream girls trip be?

I’d love to go back to the Philippines!


What is the best advice you can give to girls that want to be powerful or pursue their dreams?

Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself.



Interested to hear more about these incredible women? Click on their profile picture to follow them on Instagram.



What about you? What does girl power mean to you and what are your dreams and aspirations? Let us know!

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© 2018 by Nadia Rassoul

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