I’ve always wanted to give back or mentor younger girls, though I thought it would be later on in my life, once I had more of everything – more experience, more connections, more success. But why wait?
My “why” for this event and community is simple – I wish I had something like this when I was in high school. My experience in my teens wasn’t the best.
I didn’t feel like had a stable, supportive friend group who could support me in all my goals. Looking back, there was rarely a female friendship that wasn’t full of competition, catty-ness, gossip or peer pressure.
I didn’t have female mentors who could help me figure out what to do after school. There was a lot of pressure, from parents, teachers, and society to figure out what to do for the rest of my life, as fast as possible. That usually meant being an accountant or a lawyer or whatever profession is stable, even if it didn’t bring me joy.
I didn’t have a healthy relationship with food, my body image, or myself. I also didn’t have any tools to deal with stress and anxiety. All of which led to times when I was so stressed I didn’t eat, a reaaaaallllyyy unhealthy view on myself and my body image, low self-esteem, and a lot of chest pains and anxiety attacks.
I’m not alone in my high-school experience. Majority of the women I have spoken to all have similar stories, whether its about body image, stressing over what to do after school, or not feeling supported to express yourself fully – which is why we are joining forces to create this event.
Our goal is to give girls all the tools they need to go after their dreams in a safe and supportive community. We want to educate them in key life areas such as business/career, leadership, networking, finance (especially), wellbeing (mental, emotional and physical health) and many more.
I believe that if girls worked together and had the tools to go after their dreams, we would be in a completely different world.
If nothing changes, a lot of opportunities for these girls would be missed. As a result, their communities and all of Vancouver would be impacted for generations to come. With an environment that fosters poor mental health, not as many girls would go after their dreams and would settle for whatever is most comfortable. Living life this way would rob the local community and Vancouver of their potential contribution.
If something does change in this space (for the better), I think there would be a higher sense of community, decreased bullying, and a completely different world because girls would be going after their dreams together.
So… why not?
– Ksenia Azanova
Founder | Future Leadhers
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