Meet SARAH PENDRICK

#FanGirlFriday

"Think about how powerful just one woman can be, and then when you get us all together on the same team, that’s when the real magic happens."

SARAH PENDRICK is the founder of Girl Talk Network, a nonprofit platform centered around women supporting women. Girl Talk holds events, workshops and meet-ups throughout the year to connect and inspire women.

But that's not all! Sarah is kicking off her first ever Self Love tour this month, where she will be speaking at schools and empowering our future generation of leading ladies.

Yay! Thank you for all that you do, Sarah.

Every Ella: Tell us about yourself.

Sarah Pendrick: Oh wow, I don’t know where to start, there’s so much to tell, lol. I have tons of interests and I love doing and learning new things. If someone wants to go try something or do something new, give me a call! I have an obsession with pizza, I love dance parties and adventure. If I could travel somewhere new everyday, I would. I feel like I basically live out of a suitcase because I am always on the go! I have always had a deep pull to connect and help people and the one thing I have always been 100% sure on my entire life was I had to help others. I majored in Psychology at ASU and also went for my master’s in Family Therapy. I am horrible at small talk but I love sitting and connecting with women, if we are talking about real things I could sit and talk for hours. I married my soulmate 2 years ago ( I know, I know okay annoying!) but really, I got up and moved to LA and decided exactly the type of person I wanted to be with and that I wasn’t going to settle for less than that.

You are the founder of the non-profit GirlTalk Network. Can you tell us about it?

GirlTalk is a place where any women can go, no matter what stage of life she is in, it is a place for women to feel supported, celebrated and empowered with positive vibes surrounding them. We are a community of women supporting women. GirlTalk puts on empowerment events in beautiful environments to celebrate and connect women. Our famous event Connect+Inspire happens two or more times a year and it is a very special day. (This is where I met you girls and am so grateful for that!) So many connections and lasting friendships are made at this event. We connect like-minded women and give our attendees access to an empowering panel of motivational speakers, influencers and celebrity speakers plus so many other fun surprises with many of our beauty partners.

The charity aspect of GirlTalk is our foundation, this is non-profit sector where I travel with a few other speakers to schools around the United States to provide a free Self Love program for young women. Our program is about empowerment, loving yourself, women supporting each other and bullying amongst girls. January 2017 kicks off our tour (with the first stop in Arizona) and I could not be more excited!!!

What inspired you to create this non-profit and platform?

GirlTalk is my heart’s mission. I truly believe in women supporting each other and feel there is such a huge need for this. Women can be so hard on themselves and we all need a sisterhood. I am an introverted extrovert, I lived my life a lot in my head and decided to make the change to be authentically me after wasting too much time thinking I wasn’t supported or that I couldn’t be myself at all times (which couldn’t of been further from the truth!) I never want anyone else to feel that way and not be authentically them so I created a organization that promotes loving yourself and women supporting each other.

Think about how powerful just one woman can be, and then when you get us all together on the same team, that’s when the real magic happens. My dream of creating a GirlTalk became real when I put together an event surrounded by women supporting each other and I saw how many women truly believed and wanted to be a part of it. That was amazing to see this sisterhood building and women from all over coming together! On that note, my biggest advice for anyone wanting to go for their dreams is to just go for it! There is never the exact right moment. I set a date for my first event (that was one of my first steps!) and just did it!

What are your hopes and ambitions for GirlTalk?

I have endless hopes and dreams for GirlTalk. My main ambition is to bring women together and spread this movement everywhere. I want the norm to be women supporting each other and loving themselves first. I really do believe that one person can change the world and that it starts with us. My main goal at the moment is to be touring all over for our Self Love program and to be able to get the funding to make this continue and change the lives of women and young girls everywhere while promoting Self Love and changing the meaning of “girl talk.”

What has been the most difficult part of getting it started?

I have always know what I wanted to GirlTalk to be. Some days it came so clear and then other days it was hard to focus on the creative process with everything else there was to do. Starting out so small as we all know is hard. But the ideas and passion I felt when going through the creative process just took over, and once I hit the ground running I haven’t turned back. I think when you have an idea and you’re working on something you are deeply passionate about that passion trumps any obstacles. I won’t lie and say it is easy, it is hard, there are days that I am scared and I don’t know the future of GirlTalk but because I believe in women and this movement so much I know everything will work out.

What has been the most rewarding part?

The most rewarding has been being able to give back in so many different ways and to connect so many women. The love I witness and the connecting is unexplainable. I have watched so many women follow their dreams after the events and have received so many emails. These same women who have reached out, volunteered or attended our events inspire me more than they will ever know.

What about your personal ambitions and dreams for your future?

My personal ambition is to be the best version of me and choose to be happy everyday. I have vowed to myself to always be growing and progressing. My dream is to be able to continue to tour and be able to provide free self love programs and workshops for young women everywhere. A personal goal of mine is to get GirlTalk in front of as many people as I can so that we can add more women to our team and any businesses that can help us are able to see what we are doing. For my personal family goals, I hope to be a mother someday, not only do I want to have my own child but I hope to adopt a child someday and change someone’s life.

How often do you hold events for GirlTalk?

Our main event Connect+Inspire is at least two times a year. We also have workshops, meetups and other events throughout the year that anyone can join.

Who would be your dream panelist at a GirlTalk event?

Oh wow...this is a tough question! I absolutely LOVE all of the women who have been on the GirlTalk panel. I pick them based on knowing that they truly believe in helping other women. My dream panelist is a woman who embodies everything that GirlTalk stands for and who is truly passionate about this movement. Women supporting women isn’t a social media trend, it is a real thing that you need to embody in your everyday life and truly live what you are saying. A panel that is made up of kind, genuine and real women talking about real issues.

Who has been the most supportive person to you thus far on your journey?

The community! At the Spring Connect+Inspire I wasn’t able to give my full speech because I started crying right before I went on (happy tears!) It was one of the most amazing feelings to watch all these women come together and to see my friends, women, volunteers our speakers be so supportive to me and GirlTalk.

Name one woman who inspires you.

Oh no, I can’t just name one! Women inspire me. We are so powerful and some of us don’t even know it or even worse don’t believe it. That inspires me to help in anyway I can, to let every woman know how truly amazing and powerful she is in your own skin. I grew up around incredible women, my family and my childhood girlfriends are all very creative, strong and kind women.

What are you currently watching/reading?

Currently I have given up TV! (ugh I know) but I feel like it has improved the quality of my life so much. So I am not watching anything right now... except when Game of Thrones come back I will be watching that! :) I have replaced TV with listening to audiobooks. I have listening to a lot of Tony Robbins lately and I have been reading Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and just ordered all of Gabrielle Bernstein’s books.

What advice do you have for girls today?

One of the biggest things that I tell girls is to remove toxic people from your life. This is so necessary in your self love journey. You need to surround yourself with only people who support you or else you aren’t creating those boundaries in your life to be able to succeed and live the unexplainable powerful feeling of being authentically yourself. It is okay to remove these people from your life, you need to put yourself first and once you do it is amazing how much room there is and opportunities you get from creating this new positive and loving space.

Meet JOJO SIMS

#FanGirlFriday

"My advice for girls today is to never take anything for granted, life especially. Don't let anyone control you or make you feel less of a person because you are worth so much. Always know how beautiful you are, disability or not. And never spend too much time looking in the mirror picking at every flaw you think you see... make sure to smile & laugh at least once a day & just never give up. No matter what you're going through, YOU CAN MAKE IT THROUGH. YOU ARE STRONG. YOU ARE A CHAMPION."

Imagine going from living a "normal life" of running with your friends and working two full time jobs, to losing feeling below your belly button, losing the ability to walk and having to change your entire life. Most people wouldn't know what to do and would feel sad and angry. Not Jojo Sims. When this happened to her, due to a rare condition, she found that she would make the best of it and stay positive throughout the entire situation and inspire those around her. We are so impressed by your strength and ability to overcome these obstacles with a big smile on your face. We cannot wait to follow your journey to watch you continue to tackle the world. We're going to borrow your own words for a second, Jojo, because YOU are a CHAMPION!

Every Ella: Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Samantha Joann but I've gone by Jojo my entire life! I'm 22 years old & I'm from Shreveport, La. I graduated high school in 2013 & went straight into working a full time job. I was a certified dental assistant but I was also a nanny. Working 5am- 5pm was pretty much my everyday schedule. I would get off work & go straight to the gym or go home to run around the neighborhood. I live with my amazing boyfriend & our pit bull, Søren.

In December 2015, an event changed your life forever. Can you tell us about what happened?

I have a brain aneurysm & last year in December my doctors were worried it had ruptured or I had meningitis. We did a spinal tap that came back good & didn't show any signs of a brain bleed or meningitis. I got a spinal tap headache because the tiny hole was leaking spinal fluid so they did a procedure called a "Blood Patch"... This procedure was something I had never had done before so being scared was an understatement. I had no idea my life would change because of it. They took a tube of blood from my arm & injected it into my spine.. this was supposed to block the spinal tap hole & stop spinal fluid from leaking. Something went terribly wrong & what the dr injected ended up making a cyst form around my spinal cord. I lost feeling from the belly button down & lost the ability to walk along with many other things. My bowels & bladder have been majorly affected, my strength is very poor (I can lift about 10-12 pounds now) but no matter what, none of this will bring me down. I'll never stop fighting to walk again!

What is Cauda Equina Syndrome?

Cauda Equina Syndrome is very very rare. "Cauda Equina" literally means horses tail. So basically all my spinal cord nerves (the horses tail) are under extreme pressure & they are super inflamed. This affects several different things because my brain can't send signals to places it needs to talk too.

Is there treatment for this condition?

Sadly there is no cure for any spinal cord injury BUT there is treatment to help regain some lost abilities. I go to therapy 4x a week & work my butt off during every single session. Every spinal cord injury is different, so therapy is different for every patient.

What has been the hardest part of this for you?

That's a pretty tough question to answer. I have a huge heart... & I care so much about others & what they feel or what they think. I think the hardest part is knowing that so many lives have changed because of this crazy thing that happened to me. My mom lost her job, my dad is our only income & my boyfriend lost his girlfriend that could do any & everything for him without any problems. I know that none of them blame me but I can't help but feel guilty. They love me so much & I can't even begin to tell you how much I appreciate EVERY little thing they have done for me. So the hardest part for me is knowing that so much changed for so many people & there's nothing I can do to fix it.

You’ve said there is a lot of misunderstanding of what a spinal cord injury actually is. Can you tell us and our readers what exactly it means?

Yeah! So there are SOOOO many different types of spinal cord injuries & there are so many different ways that each one can affect a person. What I meant by saying people misunderstand it is that when people see someone in a wheelchair, they might think," oh she just can't walk" but there's so much more to it. I personally have to deal with nerve damage in my bladder & bowels.... so in order for me to use the bathroom.. I have to self cath. I'm not ashamed of it by any means! But I have people all the time say things like "you don't look sick" or "you don't look like anything is wrong" but they have no idea what I & so many others who have a spinal cord injury deal with behind closed doors. Just a few problems that go along with SCI is weakness in upper & lower body, dulled sensation, sharp nerve pains that will come at random times & can bring you to tears & breathing problems! I just hope that I can help bring awareness to SCI & everything that goes along with it.

You have stayed so positive during this entire chapter of your life. Can you tell us what keeps you so positive and strong?

God. Family. Friends. My support system is the reason I am so strong. They help me realize that giving up isn't an option. If I were negative, it would only make this probably 100x harder. Also, everyone I  have met who has a similar story or is very sick, helps me stay strong! I want to fight for those who can't.

What are your dreams and ambitions for the future?

My dream is to marry my boyfriend & have the life we always wanted. I want to have kids & be the fun- loving person I have always been. I want to inspire others & help anyone in need. I know this happened for a reason & I feel like I've already helped so many people struggling. It makes me want to help soooo many more. I would love to travel.. which is something I didn't really think about before this. But now.. I want so bad to just see so many beautiful places.

 

Name one woman who inspires you.

My mom is my biggest inspiration. I could name so many other amazing ladies who have truly been so inspiring to me but my mom trumps them all. She didn't just lose her job.. she lost a work family. She lost time away from home that allowed her to just get away sometimes. My mom spends every single day with me.. taking care of me, driving me to therapy, driving me to doctors appointments, taking me to meet friends, cooking soup for me when I'm not feeling okay, encouraging me when I feel like I'm doing terrible at therapy, cheering me on no matter how sloppy I look doing my exercises & just being my mom. But she's also not just my mom. She's my absolute bestfriend. I can tell her anything & never feel like she's judging me. I know that all my secrets are safe with her & I know that she will never give up on me. She truly is an amazing person who you look at & would never guess the past she had. She went through heck & back. But when you look at her today you would NEVER guess it. She's the strongest person I know!

What are you currently reading/watching?

Criminal minds... it's my addiction

If you could have dinner with one female celebrity, who would it be and why?

Sarah Herron without a doubt. She's someone I look up to on a daily basis. She grew up with a "disability" but she has never let it define her or hold her back. I admire everything about her.

What advice do you have for girls today?

My advice for girls today is to never take anything for granted, life especially. Don't let anyone control you or make you feel less of a person because you are worth so much. Always know how beautiful you are, disability or not. And never spend too much time looking in the mirror picking at every flaw you think you see... make sure to smile & laugh at least once a day & just never give up. No matter what you're going through, YOU CAN MAKE IT THROUGH. YOU ARE STRONG. YOU ARE A CHAMPION.

 

 

Meet LINDSAY BURNELL

#FanGirlFriday

"There is no greater love than the love you give yourself. When we learn to love ourselves unconditionally, we learn to love each other unconditionally. So always choose love, always be love, always self-love. Love always wins."

LINDSAY BURNELL is a graduate student at Georgia Southern University with a focus in School Counseling. She, herself, struggled with mental health issues and made the very important and strong decision to seek help and change her life. In making this decision she also realized she could change the lives of others. Recently speaking at a conference and sharing her story with others she's certainly on a path to GREATNESS! Keep doing what you're doing, Lindsay, and sharing your incredible story and spreading the message of self-love. We think you're AMAZING!

Every Ella: Tell us about yourself.

Hello Everyone, my name is Lindsay. I’m 22 years old, 23 on June 6th! I was born and raised in North Georgia. Both my parents however are from Europe, making me a first born American. I have family as close as Savannah and as far as Australia. A few of my hobbies are photography, yoga and volunteer/social justice work. I have a true passion for wellness, travel and mental health. I currently work as a Graduate Assistant for the Alternative Break program here at Georgia Southern to provide students with the opportunity to make a difference in the community on a local, national, or global scale by doing service work during winter, spring and summer break.

What university do you attend and what are you studying?

I attended Georgia Southern University from 2011 until 2015 when I graduated. I received a BS in Psychology and minor in Child and Family Development. I loved GSU so much I went back and became a double eagle! I will ultimately graduate with a masters in School Counseling and my professional counseling license. I have big dreams for my counseling career - whatever the setting may be. I feel it is my true calling and I truly enjoy the work I do.

Why is helping others so important to you?

I myself struggled with mental health issues and seeking help was the crucial turning point in my life journey. This personal experience and my passion for service work is what drove me to my career in mental health and holistic wellness. I believe that in order to live a healthy, happy life we must live an authentic life in which self-love and self-care are vital. Helping others is part of all that, it has always been a part of me and I hope that by living my authentic life other will see the importance of helping or lending a hand and follow.

You recently presented a workshop entitled ‘Extreme Self-Care and Self-Love for Women’ at a conference on diversity, inclusion and fairness. How did you come across that opportunity?

I have formed an incredible relationship with my program supervisor and professor Dr. Pamela Wells. She has been by my side since day one in the program. Funny story we actually met the summer before my program started. She attended my 7am Wednesday morning yoga class every week without fail. She and I both have a deep passion for mindfulness, self-love and holistic wellness. Through the program I have shared with her my advocacy work and when she was presented with this opportunity she thought of asking me to co-present.

Were you nervous to present in front of so many women?

I’ve done class presentations and I have worked open houses but nothing prepares you for your first conference workshop. On the day of I walked into the assigned room and all my anxiety that I had subsided started screaming. We had gotten the BIG ROOM (it sat 40+ people). I’m just a newbie student, they couldn’t possibly think that my presentation would pack the house? Well as soon as the time came one by one women started trickling in the back door and then everyone. It was like a flood of women and even men walked in. We ended up having over 50 people attend our workshop!

How did you prepare for the presentation?

We set up a few meetings the month before in which we brainstormed all the things we thought we could talk about. We worked hard setting up the presentation, writing a mindfulness script and making the handouts just right. I looked at this presentation as a passion project and took it all very seriously. I wanted it to be a true reflection of my philosophy as a counselor.

What was the highlight of this experience?

I think the biggest highlight from this experience was the women who wanted to talk after the workshop. We often forget that self-love and self-care are one in the same and as women also tend to neglect ourselves while we’re conquering the world. I had some come up and thank me for reminding them to self-care, another told me she had never even heard of the concept of self-love and my favorite was the shy girl who gave me a hug and simply said thank you for being so passionate and reminding me ‘I am worthy’.

What are your goals and dreams both personally and professionally?

Ah, the big questions. I like to call myself a ‘multipotentialite’ (go watch Emilie Wapnick Ted Talk, you won’t be sorry), I have many big dreams. I am a firm believer that in order to live a happy life you must do what you love and that is why I chose the mental health field. It gives me the opportunity to take my many many passions and incorporate them into all aspects of my life (intersectionality). If I had to narrow it down my top two big dreams, both personally and professionally, are to eventually own my own wellness center and create my own schooling system/philosophy.

What do you like to do for fun?

As I said before I love yoga, photography, fitness, eating yummy food, service work and the outdoors. I’m one of those people that can have fun no matter what it is I am doing. As long as I am surrounded by people I love doing that things I love I couldn’t be happier.

Name one woman who inspires you.

This is a very hard choice to make, I have so many women that inspire me! I think if I had to choose one person it would be Rachel Brathen. She is a yoga instructor who not only owns her own business, runs non-profits and travels the world teaching but she is a wonderful role model for women. She uses her voice and platform to advocate and help others, just as I hope to one day be able to do on a wider scale. She also has a great Ted Talk “Lessons I've learned through Social Media” about being vulnerable and authentic in life, I highly recommend it!

What’s one piece of advice you would give girls today?

Geez, this is a hard question too. There is no greater love than the love you give yourself. When we learn to love ourselves unconditionally, we learn to love each other unconditionally. So always choose love, always be love, always self-love. Love always wins.

 

Meet KIM WEBER

#FanGirlFriday

"There are so many children with hearts so big and full of love, but that do not receive all they need for living. We are so privileged to be able to bring these beautiful children the supplies they need to avert the pinch of poverty."

Screen Shot 2016-11-10 at 11.48.55 PM.png

KIM WEBER is passionate about using her love of art to help those less fortunate. She volunteers in Mexico, where her mother was born, and provides art supplies to poverty-stricken children to encourage them to be creative and create a better future for themselves.

We LOVE your mission, Kim! Thank you for doing what you do.

Every Ella: Tell us a bit about yourself.

I absolutely love every form of art! Some of my favorites being painting, photography, and playing guitar. I am currently studying Business and Art at Azusa Pacific University, where I will be finishing my senior year this spring. I think that studying business and art are a fun combo, because despite being very different, they mix well together.  

How long have you been doing art?

I always played around with art, but I've been taking it more seriously for the past 4 years.

Do you sell your artwork? Is it available online?

Yes I do! I sell paintings and commissioned work. I also sell pre printed designs on a variety of things like stickers and shirts. I even made some temporary tattoos! You can find everything I am currently selling at www.KimRoseArt.com/shop.

Can you tell us a little bit about your Mexico Mission?

My Mexico Mission is at the heart of what inspires and encourages me to grow my business. In addition to donating 10% of profits directly to orphanages, we fundraise to bring food and clothing donations to areas around Tijuana, Mexico.

How did you get involved with this program?

I have always been involved in going to Mexico. My mom was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. Being fluent in spanish, she would always be the translator for our church when we went on mission trips. As a young girl, I would get to see her really help people who needed it. This hugely inspired me to carry in her footsteps and strive to help others as much as she did.

The reason I chose orphanages was because of the stories my mom would tell me of when she was younger. Despite the fact that her and her family grew up in poverty, she said “we didn’t know we were poor." One of the main reasons was because there was a small school nearby that offered free acting classes, art supplies, and a meal for all kids. Directly after school and up till dinner time, my mom and her sisters would spend their time there. In doing this, they were not just having fun. They were building a strong foundation for a brighter future by exploring their own creativity, building confidence in themselves, and staying away from alternatives such as drugs and alcohol. There are so many children with hearts so big and full of love, but that do not receive all they need for living. We are so privileged to be able to bring these beautiful children the supplies they need to avert the pinch of poverty.

What are the goals of this program?

The goals are primarily to bring donations (food, clothing, money) to orphanages near the Tijuana border. This is so that we might help in providing a brighter future for the children near the border. In addition to this, our goal is to also raise awareness of the need that is so close to us. The more people are aware, the more likely they are to want to help themselves and get involved in helping others.

What is it about this particular mission that you’re so passionate about?

About giving children the same opportunities my mom and her sisters were given when they were kids. It’s more than just providing art supplies, it is promoting creativity and a brighter future.

Has there been one child in particular who has inspired you?

Every smiling face & beautiful eyes full of love have inspired me. I couldn't pick a favorite, because they are all so loving and inspiring.  

What are your personal goals and ambitions for your future?

To continue my art and grow the business. As the business grows, so will the awareness of need so close to our (CA) borders.

Sell art to those who appreciate it, give art to kids who need it.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I painted a mural in Topanga canyon, that took me a week to complete. In return, I received a very generous donation for Mexico. This money given directly to El Niño in Tijuana, Mexico.

What advice would you give to girls today?

  1. It may not always seem like it, but we are so incredibly blessed. If you are reading this right now, you most likely have access to clean water, food, shelter, and companionship (be it family, friends, etc…) Acknowledge how blessed you are. You do not have to drastically change your lifestyle. It could be as simple as changing the way you think. Not taking things for granted, but being thankful.

  2. Get out there and see how you can help others. This can happen in a variety of ways, and be anything from going to Africa, to helping your friend who is going through a tough time.

  3. Play with art! Even if it’s not your thing, you may find you like it way more than you thought.

Meet BRIDGETTE DUNNING

#FanGirlFriday

"To me, feminism is about equality: I believe women deserve to have the same rights and privileges as men do. As a feminist I strive to empower women, and encourage women to stand up for themselves. Everyone has a voice that deserves to be heard."

You might know this gal as BRIDGETTE DUNNING from Season 18 of Big Brother, but we like to think of her as the strong feminist bad ass from Big Brother! And that's not all. Bridgette is also a traveling E.R. Nurse on a mission to change the world and empower those around her.

We think she's off to a darn good start and can't wait to see what she has in store for the future! KEEP IT UP Bridgette, you're a ROCKSTAR! 

Every Ella: Tell us a bit about yourself.

Bridgette Dunning: I am a 25 year old Traveling Emergency Room Nurse! I absolutely love to travel: visiting family and friends, meeting new people and exploring. I recently learned how to surf (though I’m not great at it quite yet lol), I also love to hike, I practice yoga, and never turn down a chance to karaoke.

You were just on season 18 of Big Brother. In one word describe that experience.

Whirlwind.

OK, now we’ll let you use more words - ha! Explain why you chose that word.

I feel the experience was a complete whirlwind: being immediately cut off from my entire life, all of my family and friends then being thrown into a house with strangers and being under cameras and microphones 24/7! It reminds me of Dorothy being taken by the tornado and waking up in Oz!

What was your favorite part of being in the Big Brother house?

My favorite part of being in the Big Brother house is the friendships I’ve made with my fellow housemates!

What was the hardest part?

The hardest part was not having any contact with my family or friends! I missed them all so much.

If given the opportunity, would you do it again?

Yes, I would definitely play again. My time in the Big Brother house was like no other and I’ve come away with some lifelong friends that make the entire experience worth it to me.

While you were on the show you proudly showed that you are a feminist. What does feminism mean to you?

To me, feminism is about equality: I believe women deserve to have the same rights and privileges as men do. As a feminist I strive to empower women, and encourage women to stand up for themselves. Everyone has a voice that deserves to be heard.

You had an all girls alliance with Bronte and Natalie on the show called the “Spy Girls.” Did it help you to know you had girls in the house who had your back?

Yes, I absolutely love my Spy Girls! I feel that the bond we shared was a great advantage in the game. It can be extremely lonely in the Big Brother house, and it was comforting to have my Spy Girls by my side.

What do you do for a living?

I am a Traveling Emergency Room Nurse! I do 3-6 month contracts for different hospitals. I tend to choose my travel location by deciding what new hobby I want to try. Right now, it’s surfing!

What is the best part of this career in your eyes?

I love being a nurse because my job is to literally help and care for others. Emergency nursing can be extremely stressful and fast paced, but knowing that I’ve helped someone in need is incredibly rewarding.

Why is it so important to you to help others around you?

My life goal is to make the world a better place in whatever way I can. Since I was a young girl, I have always felt a calling to help those in need. I decided to pursue this calling by becoming a nurse. I also offer my time to volunteer work whenever I can.

What are your personal goals and ambitions for the future?

My dream is to travel all over the world to love, care for and educate those in need. I also plan to pursue my masters degree and become a Nurse Practitioner.

If you could have dinner with one female celebrity, who would it be and why?

Emma Watson! I absolutely adore Emma and all that she stands for. Her work with Unicef and the ‘He for She’ gender equality movement is inspirational to say the least. I’ve been following her since she played Hermione! She has always proven to be an amazing role model and someone I truly look up to.

What are you currently reading or watching?

I love reading science fiction novels! I am currently finishing up ‘The Mote in God’s Eye’ by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven and just started reading ‘Armada’ by Ernest Cline. This book was actually sent to me by an incredibly gracious fan who shares my love of sci-fi!

Name one woman who inspires you.

My Grandmother Estrellita inspires me everyday. She immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines in the 1957. Not only did she make it possible for her seven younger siblings to follow her to the United States, but also became a successful real estate/mortgage broker in San Francisco. My grandmother also inspired me to pursue my nursing career and always encouraged me to be a strong successful woman.

What advice do you have for girls today?

My advice for girls is to be yourself and be proud of who you are. Pursue your passions and follow your heart. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are not capable of accomplishing your dreams. It may not be easy at times, but know that you are capable of anything you set your mind to.