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Alumnae 2021

Anupriya Sharma

My name is Anupriya Sharma, and I am a high school student starting 11th grade this fall. I am very eager to take part in the many opportunities that the new school year will bring. My most favourite courses at school are French as well as Science, which happen to be the two that I excel at the most. When I don't have my nose buried in a book, I enjoy cooking and baking, going on long walks, as well as spending time with my family. I am very passionate about giving back to my community in whatever way possible as it has provided so much for me and my family. My biggest aspiration is to pursue a career in medicine and one day be in such a position that I am hopefully able to inspire young students to follow their dreams!

Vera Lynn Petkovski

It is the serendipity of Vera’s (she/they) life and resiliency that has enabled her to embark on a scenic journey of personal development and a deeper understanding of the human experience. Currently, Vera is an undergraduate student in the Child and Youth Care program at Ryerson University, and is completing a double minor in Criminology and Disability Studies. She is passionate about youth justice, youth advocacy, and interdependency, as her practice is based on a process of learning and unlearning, self-reflection, and deconstructing societal notions which continue to perpetuate social injustices. As Vera’s background is interdisciplinary, rooted in Media/Creative Arts and Tourism, she creatively integrates these knowledges within her current fields of study and community work, which allows her to engage with children and youth in an unconventional, yet meaningful and therapeutic way. As a wounded healer who continues to experience mental illness, Vera perseveres in her everyday life, while inspiring others to look within and activate their own power and untapped potential.

Kainat Faizi

My name is Kainat Faizi, I’m 16 years old and I’m in grade 11 at high school. I was born and raised in Afghanistan and I was 10 years old when I moved to Turkey. When I was 14 years old I came to Canada. I love to help people and volunteer.


Mahnoor Is a high school student who will soon be starting grade 11. She is a socially active person who likes to be surrounded by people. She is energetic and lively and wants to explore the possibilities of living a highly purposeful life. She has an interest in science, art, photography, video editing, and computer technology and hopes to continue her passions in these fields of education. She is an artist at heart and loves to create unique artworks to inspire everyone around her. She aspires to live through experiences that will develop her as a person and contribute to the goodness of the community. Mahnoor enjoys giving back to her community and wants to impact the lives of others in a positive way Most of all, she loves helping people and doing what she can to bring happiness and ease into their lives. Recently, she has joined EmpowHer and looks forward to attaining amazing new skills and opportunities that will allow her to grow.

Thérèse Perucho

Thérèse Perucho is a student at the University of Toronto majoring in human geography with a focus in planning, political science, and minoring in practical French. Additionally, she is a music instructor at Arcadia Academy of Music and the founder of Akong Filipina, a not-for-profit organization that works to re-envision the image and role of a modern-day Filipina in her community. On top of being a student, a music instructor, and running an organization, Thérèse is also a compliance analyst for the G20 Research Group and a mental health advocate. After her undergraduate degree, Thérèse is hoping to enter graduate school in the field of urban planning.

Bahar Wakili

Hi, my name is Bahar Wakili, a grade 11 student at Harold M. Brathwaite Secondary School. Although I am still in high school and do not have a diverse professional history, I hope to be a lawyer in the future. I am very passionate about law and politics and hope to put that passion to use in the future. Being so interested in our justice system and politics and possessing so many opinions yet having no real power to make change is very frustrating. I want to be a lawyer so I can make an impact, even if it is trivial. I am very excited to be a part of EmpowHer to the volunteering experience and the skills I need for the future. I am elated to be a part of such a supportive community.

Reem Halawi

My name is Reem Halawi; I have BA Degree in Journalism from Lebanon where I immigrated from. I love to volunteer and invest my time in different sectors within the community, always eager to learn something new. Communication and building connections are always a life altering experience. I enjoy reading, writing, listening and playing music.

Nadia Huaco

I am Nadia Huaco a first-generation immigrant from Peru, I have lived in Canada for 18 years now. I studied at Ryerson University in the Languages and Intercultural Relations program, with a major in Spanish and a concentration in Organizational Behavior in the workplace. In my free time I like to sing, dance, write and create videos that express how I feel at the moment or shed light on any important issues/ concepts. I've had the privilege to study abroad in Spain and work as a research intern in Brazil back in 2019, I've also volunteered with Ryerson to be a Student rep many times. Through those experiences I've found the value in global learning, learning to work with a community and most importantly to give back. I don't believe I am done with my academic career just yet, I am taking time to explore different paths and I believe EmpowHer will help put me on the right track. I look forward to the new chapter of my life, connecting with like-minded motivated women like myself and having new experiences that will enhance my knowledge and develop new skills!

Juana Singh

My name is Juana Singh, I am 17 years old, and a grade 11 high school student. My pronouns are she/her. My hobbies/interests include reading, math, playing with my dog, sleeping, and watching movies. I believe that we must always finish what we start, that is why I never leave a task unfinished. I am an ambitious and determined individual. I am extremely passionate about equality (gender and race). I wish to leave the world a better place through my endeavors. I believe that in order to create a better world (and strive for a utopian reality), we must always be kind.

Akshita Kumar

My name is Akshita and I am a grade ten student. I am passionate about volunteering, developing new skills, and giving back to my community. I also have an interest in the language of French, and I hope to continue learning French after high school. In the future, I aspire to be a physician or a specialist in the medical field. For fun, I like to play badminton and watch drama movies.

Zaynab Syed

Hi, my name is Zaynab Syed, and I’m a Grade 11 student at Harold M. Brathwaite SS. I was born and raised in the GTA, and I love travelling with my family! I enjoy mathematical subjects and even prefer them over the sciences. I used to be a big bookworm: however, now I read books very occasionally. Some of my current hobbies include swimming, skating, and spending time with friends. I also love graphic design and am looking forward to improving my skills in some of the workshops here at EmpowHer. I have very little work and volunteer experience and am very excited to get started and join the community at EmpowHer!

Fabiah Mahmood

Hi, my name is Fabiah. I will be completing my degree for Bachelor of Science, majoring in Biology, at the University of Waterloo. I love teaching and mentoring students; I have worked as a Teaching Assistant in summer camp and at my university to help students become more confident and tackle their challenges. I found I also like research when working as a RA for a risk factor study for women at risk for ovarian and breast cancer. Talking to these women and learning more about them has provided me with the motivation to try new things and get out of my comfort zone. Through EmpowHer I hope to gain more relevant skills, strengthen my resume and gain the experience I need to build my career.

Jyoti Kalsi

Jyoti is a student and advocate who knows all too well the barriers that women and minorities face in the world. She is currently studying political science and geography at the University of Toronto and has been avid in her journey studying politics at the local, provincial, national and international level. During her free time, she likes to go on long walks, especially nature walks and likes to learn more about the world through meeting new people and learning more about the injustices that are occurring. She has volunteered in many different organizations that span from female empowerment, climate change and social justice. The skills she has learned will one day help her in the career in social justice and the legal profession. She loves to be a part of change and loves to see women empowered in politics and in the legal profession.

Jasmeen Kaur Bhuller

My name is Jasmeen Kaur Bhuller and I’m from Brampton, Ontario, Canada. I’m 16 years old and am currently a second year at Holy Name Of May C.S.S. I enjoy learning as much as I can about the people around me, being more open about myself, and would like to reach out of my comfort zone. When I’m older, I would love to pursue a career related to the social sciences and food and nutrition to do my part and help others around me! I enjoy studying Japanese and Japanese literature in my time and hope to visit the country one day! I would love to close the gap between women having fewer opportunities to excel in academics and be paid less in the workforce. I want to raise awareness-especially towards the younger generations to explain what goes on in society, what is right and wrong, and how we can use our knowledge and understanding to impact the world and make it a better place!

Aliza Khan

My name is Aliza Khan, and I am now in grade 11 at the age of 16. Reading, creating stories, physical activities, baking, listening to music, and spending time with my friends and family, as well as meeting new people, are some of my favorite pastimes. In the future, I'd like to pursue a career in business or law because those are sectors in which I'm both enthusiastic and skilled, and in which I've had a long-standing interest. I am a high school student that enjoys having opportunities to give back to the community while also having the opportunity to work on myself and meet new people and creating a bigger network for myself. EmpowHer was a great way for me to grow as a person and acquire a variety of skills that I will be able to utilize in the future. I also like raising awareness among individuals not just at my school but also in my community. I like being busy, which means that I am able to devote a significant amount of time to clubs, school, events, programs, and volunteer work. I joined EmpowHer to assist not only increase my education but also raise awareness about the challenges that face our community.

Aimée Eva Manga

My name is Aimée Eva Manga. I am 17 years old and currently attending « Jeunes sans frontière » Which is a French high school, and I am in grade 11. I was born in Senegal, and it’s been three years since I moved to Canada. I am also bilingual (French and English). I enjoy reading, writing, and drawing. I do a lot of visual art which helps me to develop my creativity in certain ways. Also, it gives me an eye to detail in everything I do. I am not sure what I would like to do as a profession when I am older but one thing for sure is that I want to be successful in life and for that to happen, I have to put effort in what I do and work hard to achieve my dreams. As a person who is eager to help others and learn more about people, I can be a quick learner and I am tempted to get knowledge in what I do.

Paloma DSilva

Experienced bilingual developer analyst with experience in the environmental and technology industries with a proven track record of troubleshooting and solving Development inquiries. I am always seeking to learn new programming languages to be able to build stuff and keep up with the latest tech trends. I am particularly interested in web design, accessibility and user experience. Female, visible minority, and seeking to make a difference in the community. 3+ years' work experience in IT.

Alisha Gandhi

My name is Alisha Gandhi, and I am a grade 11 student attending Chinguacousy Secondary School as well as a part of the regional Sci-Tech Program and Health and Wellness SHSM program! This is my first year on this council, and I am so ecstatic to see what EmpowHer will be able to offer this upcoming year! I believe that EmpowHer is an amazing opportunity to help me look outside my personal bubble and explore societal issues to which I otherwise would have been ignorant. It will allow me to openly discuss taboo topics and help raise awareness to how the different roles, race, and gender Play it it can truly broaden my perspective. In my free time, I enjoy to volunteer especially in the healthcare industry, going on long walks and discovering new places, and watching Netflix :) My friends would describe me as kind, approachable, and compassionate towards others (believe me, I asked)! Through EmpowHer, I hope to empower and inspire females all around the world to reach their goals and provide opportunities that help them thrive.

Urja Patel

My name is Urja and I am currently a grade 11 student. I study at David Suzuki and honestly, I love it. Some of my passions and hobbies are visual arts, including painting and sketching. I also make music and sing. I am very passionate about my body and mental health as well so I always try to stay active which leads to me playing and taking part in many school activities and sports, although my favorite sport to play would be track and field and to watch would be hockey. I am an animal lover and would gladly take care of your pet :) My main goal in life is to be happy, being successful means enjoying the things I do and making it my career which would help me achieve my goal step by step. My main career field which I am interested in moving forwards in is criminal law. What inspired me to move forwards in law was my law class, knowing that I could help change many lives motivated me to pursue further into the career as well. I decided to join EmpowHER to empower women. In our society many females are afraid to go reach out for their dreams due to society standards and I'm her to give support and confidence to them to help them preach their goals.

Juana Singh

I joined Empowher in order to improve my communication skills. I have always believed that effective communication is key to success, and if we wish to bring about change, we must be able to translate our ideas into words. Empowher provides me with the resources and training to excel. From the workshops, meetings, assignments, and networking opportunities, there are various manners by which you are challenged to step out of your comfort zone. Not only has Empowher given me the opportunity to enhance my skill set, but it has provided me the chance to give back to the community. Empowher’s initiatives are aimed at uplifting and empowering womxn, helping them pave the paths of their tomorrow. I am extremely grateful for the connections I have built in this program, the Empowher family, and to help support Empowher’s mission.

Romaan Waseem

Romaan Waseem is currently a grade 10 student who attends Holy Name of Mary C.S.S. She was born in Pakistan, and her family immigrated to Canada when she was 3 years old. Romaan is interested in building her leadership skills, helping others in any way she can, and giving back to her community! She has several interests, as her goal is to keep herself busy during the day, but what she enjoys doing the most are artistic activities. She has a passion for art and usually spends her time sketching realistic portraits of others or painting landscapes. She is also crazy about playing sports and has previously joined several sports teams in her school, like the basketball, cricket, soccer, and volleyball team. Other hobbies that Romaan has include reading fictional and mysterious books and writing short stories. Moreover, Romaan takes her school very seriously and has always remained an honours student.

Volunteering is a big part of Romaan’s life as she wants to become active within her community and also gain different experiences. She has volunteered multiple times with the City of Brampton where she has helped to organize many events for the community. One specific event that she volunteered for was a Christmas event called Breakfast with Santa, where she helped to prepare and distribute all kinds of meals and drinks. She has also volunteered at schools where she has assisted students with completing their schoolwork.

Romaan also has very high hopes for her future. She adores all of the sciences and is hoping to pursue a career in the medical field. She wants to go into this career path because the various organs and body systems fascinate her. Furthermore, she is specifically looking into becoming a cardiologist, neurologist, or family physician. Whichever job she ends up having within the medical field, Romaan just hopes that she can help relieve the sufferings of others by providing them with medical treatment.

Recently, Romaan has chosen to become a part of EmpowHer, and through this organization, she is hoping that she can work to improve her leadership and transferrable skills. She also hopes to gain more experience, make larger contributions to her community and help to make a difference, as well as discover new things about herself!