I am a Coach and Consultant whose passion is to create space for women to lift each other up and take action towards their life and career goals. It is my belief that we all have the internal power to create change, and we can use our voices and skills to lead the life we desire.
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.
My life started off very differently than what it is today. My family experienced the effects of generational trauma, resulting in my siblings and I growing up in very tumultuous households. We experienced frequent child abuse and neglect, parental substance abuse leading to incarceration, food instability, domestic violence, uncontrolled mental illnesses, foster care, and more. This childhood fundamentally rewired our nervous systems and, as adults, we have individually experienced the physical, emotional, and mental effects of the trauma and toxic stress these childhood experiences caused. However, we have not given up and we keep striving for a better life for ourselves and for others.
Due to these experiences, I began to wonder later in life, what caused some children to be born into loving, supportive families and what caused other children to be born into tumultuous families like ours? I began to think, how can I be part of the change? This fundamental question led me to a career in Social Work, where I was fortunate and honored to work with immigrant and low-income families in the Head Start program to build their financial and parenting capacity to provide the support their children needed to thrive long term. In this work, we understood the neurological foundation children needed to thrive and how parents could nurture supportive environments, but also, built pathways for parents to achieve their own dreams. Using my experience as a Community Organizer, parents learned and were provided pathways to leadership in the school and the community so they could use their voice to create change for themselves and for others facing the same barriers to success. This work was extended beyond the individual center I worked in, and I became involved in Advocacy work in the community and became an informal coach for women looking to achieve their dreams.
Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say YES, go for it!”
As I look back on the years of work doing this, I began to see that the fundamental difference between creating change for yourself, and others, is:
- You have to believe that you have the internal power to create change.
- You have to have a growth mindset and believe you have the capacity to grow and gain new skills.
- You need a support system that is going to cheer you on and challenge you when you are afraid.
- You need access to opportunities to take action. This can mean gaining access to the table where decisions are made, starting your own business, getting connected to the right mortgage lender, or even getting assistance from the right consultant to design an effective program.
This is where Reflecting Change comes in. It took me a couple of years to bring Reflecting Change from ideation to formation due to the simple fact that I was afraid. I knew that this work was important. I had seen in other contexts that the premise of Reflecting Change worked. Women were becoming leaders, they were buying houses, they were saving for the future, they started nonprofits, etc. However, there was something that was holding me back. Then I realized that the only thing that stopped me from jumping in fully was….me. The Imposter Syndrome within me. So, I decided that I needed to embody the essence of Reflecting Change and make my own dream happen so that other women can make theirs come alive also.
Tell us something about your initiative or current role. What is it about, and what impact are you trying to make?
With Reflecting Change, it is not about me or even about the company, it is about the women and organizations I serve and what change am I helping them facilitate within themselves.
How am I providing the space for them to grow? How am I integrating tried and true techniques and marrying that with their goals and dreams for themselves? How am I providing a community of support and access to opportunities for women who may need it or are looking to expand theirs? Finally, how am I partnering with organizations to expand their thinking, refine their processes, tackle the bucket list of projects that are going to make a greater impact on their community? It is more than the individual and more about the collective we. The more we all lean into our strengths, confidently follow our passions in whatever way that looks like, and lift each other up, the better our communities and future generations will be.
Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?
I have achieved an award for Unity and Community in the past. However, my greatest achievements are the individuals I have worked with who went on to make their dreams a reality. One individual who wanted to start saving for her children’s colleges, but could not get her spending under control. After working with her through financial coaching, she was able to curb her habits, work more efficiently, and start putting money away. Another individual who wanted to start a nonprofit. After a few phone calls and looking over her documents, she secured a lawyer and made headway on making it a reality. Those are the true achievements and what matters most to me.
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
The most significant change I would like to see is a refresh of our point of view. At times, it feels like many of us view the world as a zero sum game. One person has to lose for the other person to win and it is not the truth. We can share our resources, share our networks, share our knowledge, and we can all rise together. The question I would like to ask you is, who are you currently helping to raise, outside of the people you are employing or financially working with? Who can benefit from your knowledge, skills, or support?
Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women leadership today?
It is so beautiful and inspiring to see so many women breaking through the glass ceiling and achieving great success. In some of our lifetimes, it was unheard of for women to enter the workplace, so to see the progress we have made to become the leaders our societies and communities need, it is setting a strong, powerful foundation for ourselves and our daughters to come. As we advance, it is important to remember that we need to stay true to who we are, to remain unapologetically you despite any negative vitriol, and always believe in yourself even when situations get hard. There are pressures coming from many directions for women leaders, so make sure you have a strong support system, you have in place a system to prevent burnout, and you are rooted in your values because you are too important to let your light burn out at the top.
What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?
I want you to always remember that you have the capacity to achieve your goals, no matter how big or how small they are. You need to look within yourself to see what is holding you back, and smash that barrier or fear so you can become the leader you and your community needs.