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Trailblazers: North Side

The editorial team has a special attachment to our new series, The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative, because so many of us feel that media portrayals of women have been too one dimensional. Today, women are doing incredible things in all fields – from science and technology to finance, law, business, athletics and more.  With the Trailblazers series, we hope to highlight and celebrate female role models, encourage more equal and just representation in the media, and help foster a more tight-knit community locally helping women find mentors, business partners, friends and more.

Below, you’ll find some incredible trailblazers from in and around the North Side that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Jess Godwin

I started being more honest in my music, and THEN, I started making my own DIY music videos! I went to guitar center and got equipment and researched how to loop. I researched lighting, I researched cameras, I bought a bunch of Edison light bulbs and hung them from my bedroom ceiling and made my own music videos. By MYSELF! I threw powder paint around my bedroom after covering the entire room floor to ceiling in plastic. Read more>>

Susan Lucia Annunzio

My mission is to demonstrate to senior leaders that treating people with respect and dignity is morally, ethically and fiscally responsible. I knew from experience that companies where people are treated well make more money, but I wanted to prove that with hard data. With the help of a top-notch research firm, my team conducted the largest, most systematic global study on the factors that accelerate or inhibit profitable growth. Read more>>

Breanna Bell

The competition day fast approached and I was nervous but excited as well. I knew I had to give it my all. I did and won first place overall score. A gold medal my very first gold medal and I got to stay on the team. I’m so proud of myself because I usually would win 2nd and 3rd place silver and bronze on the USAIG team. To win gold on this team was amazing. The competition season is fast approaching and I can’t wait to compete. Read more>>

Neha Gill

As the Executive Director of Apna Ghar, I get to engage with various stakeholders to tackle various interconnected challenges facing our communities. In the case of the work that I do to end gender violence and gender discrimination to create more just and equitable communities, we see that discrimination and the experience of violence, abuse and coercion take place across racial, socioeconomic, political, religious and other societal lines, and is rooted in patriarchal power structures. Read more>>

Holly Hu

I thought to myself, how wonderful would it be… instead of assisting one person, I could assist many and help relieve the stress and workload from their shoulders. Hu’s Assisting started out as an assisting company with many services but have since narrowed it down to the services in which were most popular. I believe that the reason we do so well is that I and my crew genuinely enjoy helping others! Read more>>

Kate Powers

It’s been an adventurous global journey! I was born in Korea, adopted as an infant and grew up in the Midwest. As a very young child, I began taking dancing classes. I was the kid who brought my ballet shoes to show-and-tell in kindergarten and then again in first grade. And second grade. I told everyone I wanted to be a ballerina when I grew up. Read more>>

Cynthia Austin

Every door of opportunity was closed as it pertained to employment. I didn’t want to rebuild a clientele in the hair industry nor did he tell me to either. I prayed and cried and one day, I began painting and cutting up my clothes into fashion forward styles. Painting became therapeutic for me. I started painting and praying over the clothes. I wore my creations everywhere I went and received an abundance of inquiries. Read more>>

Rachel Devin

I have always wanted to be an influencer in some capacity. I dreamed of starting my own YouTube channel or blog for over a decade, but I never had the confidence to actually do it. After graduation this past May, I decided I could not make excuses anymore and if I wanted to follow my dream then this was probably the best time in my life to do so. Read more>>

Ashley Marie

I knew I had the attitude that said “fierce,” although it wasn’t always apparent through my introverted shyness and soft-spoken voice. There were moments, like that one time in high school when I performed the iconic Single Ladies choreography on stage, where my true potential would shine through. Read more>>

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