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RAISE A RUNNER EVENT VANCOUVER OCT 17th

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Don’t miss out on our Raise A Runner Event on October 17th at the brand new Steeltoad Brewpub and Dining Hall. All net proceeds go toward leadership program development for young women in Surrey, BC and Beirut, Lebanon!

 

$20 tickets include food and drink! We have amazing prizes and auction items including Whistler’s very own TAG Adventure package, Scandinave Spa passes, Float House, Bella Gelateria gift cards and more…

 

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

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From Vancouver to Beirut

As many of you know we are heading to Beirut in a partnership with RUN4ACAUSE, the Beirut Marathon for peace, FITCAUSE, and two schools (one in Surrey, BC and one in Beirut, Lebanon). Together we are going to empower over 40 young women through our Global Sorority initiative .

To learn more about Sarah Jamieson’s 10 year Passion Project to raise over $1M for charities and our upcoming partnership watch this video:

 


 

To learn more about the powerhouse behind the Beirut Marathon watch this video

 

 

 

 

To sign up to FITCAUSE and join our team, sign up here

 

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3 Pillars Interview with Sarah Jamieson

 

 

How do you define leadership?

 

Leadership is inspiring others with a vision and harnessing the energy of the group. A great leader stands on the front lines and inspires others to achieve their best in any given task. They also encourage others to realize their own personal power in the process.

 

Who encouraged you to be a leader?

 

Indirectly, I would say both my mother and father inspired me and in very different ways. They were divorced when I was three; therefore going between two households offered me a very different and profound set of experiences growing up.

 

As a young girl, I watched my mother struggle with bipolar disease and substance abuse. Then, during a second failing marriage, we further struggled to find peace and a sanctuary in a household fraught with violence. This encouraged me to seek answers within myself, to find a personal strength that can only come from within and in doing so I harnessed that strength for a greater good. My mom empowered me to look at people as if I were in their shoes—to spend more time listening rather than merely being heard. She would always say, speak your truth, tell your story and don’t give a sh*t what others may think.

 

My father was a single dad navigating the complexities of bringing up a tomboy daughter, who preferred to play with GI Joes than Barbie’s. After a while, he encouraged this and most often our playtime was going on adventures in nature. Often this included survival adventures, camping and getting dirty. He of course believed in discipline and commitment, but did so from a place of positive leadership. He taught me that for every action, there is an equal reaction. He also taught me that influencing others meant understanding their world, not just yours and that no man or woman is above or beneath you. If you make someone your equal and treat him or her well you will be rewarded.

 

The duality of my upbringing was not only profound, but a powerful motivator for my successes and continued progress—both personally and professionally.

 

Were you encouraged to think critically about the world? By whom?

 

From a young age, I always took an interest in the culture of our society. Because of the nature of my upbringing and thinking that I was “different,” I took an interest in underserved populations. While most of my friends would make fun of the “LD” (learning disabled) and ESL kids, I volunteered to teach English and reading skills to those students, and they are some of my fondest memories in high school. Volunteering with these students taught me a greater compassion for the human spirit and further reinforced the idea of looking at the world through someone else’s eyes.

 

As an adult, I wanted to travel, I wanted to see the world and I wanted to be ingrained in different cultures. This led me to look at the complexities and structure of different religions, traditions and the interwoven diversity of our global society. When others were reading “The Babysitters club” from the local library, I was learning about the African plains, or World War II.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Were the norms of your industry working against you?

 

In one word—yes! As a youth we didn’t have a lot of money, frankly I worked two jobs in high school to help pay rent and utilities at home, so any extra curricular activities like sports or arts were difficult to find the time for. But sport and play are essential to both kids and youth. It provides a necessary outlet for health and development, but it also teaches team camaraderie, self-confidence and self-development. Typically with budget cuts sports is the first to go and for the underserved populations it’s an expense that isn’t a priority. 1 in 6 kids in BC live in poverty; this means most likely 1 in 6 kid can’t afford to benefit from the experience sport and play can give, and I was one of those kids. My solution to this was to choose a sport I could perform solo with little equipment—I chose running!

 

Secondly, as an adult I chose the career path of being an entrepreneur in business, and had an interest in law enforcement. The majority of my jobs and career paths have been male dominated.

 

In March 2014 we welcomed 103 years of International Women’s Day and it is clear that women are transforming the world of business. But the gender makeup of business leadership has barely changed. Women still do not make as much as their respective counter parts, women hold less positions in government and policy making and the level C positions are predominantly held by men. The norms of our industry still work against us and in order for us, as women, to achieve our full potential we MUST change the culture of business and our society.

 

When have you had to think outside the box to overcome a challenge?

 

My entire life has been a think outside the box exercise in order to solve the numerous challenges I’ve faced. I have always believed that there are times when set parameters are necessary, but you must be strong enough to step outside that comfort and make decisions for yourself, that are in your best interest. Decisions that are not always obvious or easy but necessary in order to survive.

 

In 2006, I spent a month in Sudan, Africa in an all boys compound/orphanage in the middle of a civil war. Not the most safe of vacations, but certainly the most eye opening. That trip taught me a lot about courage. After I returned home, a couple years later my mom passed away, I was laid off and the apartment I was subletting was sold. I had no job, no place to live and was in a very dark place of grieving. Instead of throwing in the towel; which I considered; I chose to find courage in being humble and couch surfed with friends, and moved to the downtown eastside in a cheap apartment. I slept on the floor and ate broccoli and peanut butter for three months. It’s what you do—return to simplicity. During this time I remembered my trip to Sudan and what got me through this dark time was the courage these children had to endure during constant war times. The loss of their homes, families and friends, and the happiness they found in having very little and re-learning how to live after a devastating war. Learning how to be resourceful is one of my most remarkable out of the box skills I have learned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you have any programs like PF available to you? How would a program like PF have changed your journey?

 

I’m going to date myself with this one, but as a youth I remember the matrix style computers – green letters, black screens and floppy discs. There was no Facebook and no online programs. Therefore, much of the resources I leaned on were in school; which were minimal. A student counselor was really the only option, and she was a great resource at the time.

 

Programs like PF are integral to the community. Young women and girls are entering a new era of world change and diversification. They will be responsible for taking on a plethora of social issues that are changing the paradigm of all industries where leadership, development and cultural exchange are paramount. If I had a program like PF during those influential stages of self-exploration as a young girl, I would have been better armed with certain skills designed for problem solving, decision-making and more importantly, community action.

 

What advice would you give your 15 year old self?

 

First off, I would tell her that it’s okay to feel angry, it’s okay to feel confused and it’s okay to feel different. Authenticity is part of your personal truth; it’s who you are. I would tell her that life may be full of adversity and challenge, but it will be filled with opportunity and success as well. She should never lose hope. I would tell her that going the distance takes courage and strength and even though she may not know it yet, it’s there and the more she looks for it, the more it will find her.

 

I would also tell her to eat her mother’s lunches, because even though she finds it hard to understand her life and her mother’s choices, it is what will become the foundation of her strength in this world and even though she may not feel it, her mother was always there for her. I would encourage her to travel, to see the world and to make friends with the “uncool” kids, because they usually have the best ideas. Lastly, the best advice I would give her is to tell her story. Don’t wait until you are in your later years; start your legacy now. Let the world know who you are, who has inspired you and who you want to become. Life is meant to be lived, so get out there and live it. (Disclaimer: remember you have a curfew; it’s stresses mom out when you sneak out the window—she always knows.)

 

Blogs RUN4ACAUSE & Sarah M Jamieson

 

Social Media

Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMJamieson

Like her RUN4ACAUSE Facebook page

 

About Sarah

Sarah is what you would call a freelance do’gooder, a social crusader, a runner of amok of all things bucketlist and philanthropically inclined. Sarah is an accidental superhero who believes that inside every person resides a HERO.

 

Leveraging over fifteen years in the health and wellness industry, Sarah’s professional designation is as CEO and Head Coach at Moveolution, a Vancouver based health sciences consulting company, designed to compliment the clinical and performance fields by using corrective strategy, innovation and integrative evidence-based movement and cognitive science. Her vision is to elevate the potential of every active professional, to train for life, manage stress and make time for exploration and play in movement.

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3 Pillars Interview with Loretta Cella

Loretta founded Passion Foundation in 2007 with the hope of supporting young women to live to their full potential in the world. She is a two TEDx speaker, Soroptimist Ruby Award recipient and a finalist for the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in 2014. She is currently completing a Masters of Arts in Leadership at Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC. Having worked with youth and families in communities in Canada, Kenya, Uganda, India, Ireland, and Mexico over the last 15 years Loretta has had many rich experiences. Her background in Child and Youth Care Counselling, group facilitation, ICF certified coach training, and her Canadian Career Development Practitioner designation allows her the knowledge and experience to create the best possible programs and services. More information can be found here

 

Here is the questions we asked Loretta

 

1. How do you define leadership?

Interestingly enough, over the last few months my definition of leadership has evolved and simplified. Today leadership is all about being of service. I’m actually writing my second book to focus on this now. When we act in accordance to service, from a values based approach (to ourselves, to our community, to the world), we start to see greater possibilities with more energy and greater sustainability. My first book that is called Phenomenal Women the Elements of SUCCESS also focuses on this. This is the core program we offer young women through our Global Sorority initiative. It’s unbelievably amazing what happens when you support people, especially young women, to see themselves as agents of change in their own lives through this lens of leadership. The label of “victim” disappears and remarkable transformation happens that doesn’t just affect their lives but everyone around them.

 

Caption: “Elements of SUCCESS + Passion Project Overview”

 

2. Who encouraged you to be a leader?

There are a lot of people who encouraged me to be leader. I’m fortunate that when I hit a rocky path in life as a teenager I had some people who really focused on challenging me to use my skills to support my abilities vs. create more obstacles for myself. My first mentor and teacher Gary Pharness was one of the reason I created Passion Foundation. He pushed me mentally to think outside the box and see possibilities outside what was right in front of me.

 

3. Were you encouraged to think critically about the world? By whom?

I’d have to go back to Gary on this one. Gary would say things like, “Hey, did you see the sky’s blue today?!” and then chuckle. I thought he was crazy with some of the simple yet abstract things he’d say to me. Then he’s just leave saying “Just think about it.” He’d also say thing things that would completely off the wall and at times politically incorrect just to get you fired up so you’d start to use your brain. Without his playful and at times “odd” comments I don’t think I would have taken on the serious challenge of creating my own charity against many odds and have been as successful as I am today. I also owe a lot to Dr. Jan Hill for mentoring and coaching me through the process of putting the organization together when I was feeling like I couldn’t. She reminded me of the potential and that it wasn’t about me but what I had to offer others.

 

4. Were the norms of your industry working against you?

This is an interesting questions and something I’m still challenged with every so often. When I first started Passion Foundation I went to every gender specific organization I knew of to get support to start it. I didn’t ask for money I asked for a chance. I asked for direction. They’d listen (even if just a little which was all I asked). They then told me I was either potential competition or I was too young and needed to get some more experience. I was 26 and completely deflated. I didn’t want to recreate the wheel I wanted to offer something that didn’t exist. I wanted to provide a service that was missing. I didn’t want to compete I wanted to collaborate but for some reason, in their eyes, my idea and passion wasn’t enough. 7 years later, there is still an air of competition that I don’t get.  My hope is to change this perception and have more gender organizations working together.  To me there is no more room in this world for independent venture. Greater change happens when people come together and join teams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. When did you have to think outside the box to overcome a challenge?

I’m constantly thinking outside the box especially when it comes to sustainability. Ask me anything, I’ve probably tried it, especially when it comes to community development. Over the years I couldn’t figure out why when I told people I was going overseas to work with young women I’d get a lot of support but not much locally (for the same programs). So when I was approached by Tia Kelly to help me with my work and solving this problem I flew to San Diego to spend a week with her and brain storm. We came up with Global Sorority that week. We decided that we could make a documentary to show that regardless of location young women around the world were facing the same challenges. We weren’t filmmakers but we knew this would be the vehicle to create change. We had no money so we crowd funding.We had no real business skills so we worked and are working tirelessly to learn what we need to complete our series and the innovative online community that will support young women to connect, create and collaborate.

Loretta in India 2013

 

6. Did you have any programs like PF available to you? How would this have changed your journey?

I created Passion Foundation because I didn’t have programs like we offer. Had I, my teenage years might have been a little less challenging and I would have had the skills I didn’t start learning until I was in my mid twenties and still learning today. It’s amazing how many women tell me they wished we were around when they were younger.

 

Loretta and a group of graduating leaders

 

7. What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?

Oh boy! I’d tell my 15-year-old self that her value in the world is definite and infinite and not based on her beauty or body, her skills, or her experiences. I’d also tell her to journal more, ask A LOT of questions and to be curious about life, not to see the hand in front of her and accept it as is.

 

To learn more about Passion Foundation and the Leadership Training Programs that Loretta offers, click here.

 

If you would like to donate to help Passion Foundation reach more young women, click here.

 

 

 

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3 Pillars Interview with Rae Chois

Great Leaders Don’t Just Weather the Storm, They Dance in the Rain!


 
Leadership is truly an amazing hat to wear. Good leaders today are needed practically everywhere. Great Leadership is widely sought after! It is one of the highest levels of service people can offer one another.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 
So what makes someone a good leader?
 
As a Master Certified Coach, I have coached many great leaders across the planet. One female executive of a large company explains how leadership is like the “changing weather”. She says leading can be like active clouds all gathering together. This is comparable to a “shared vision”.
 
Sometimes these clouds interact, condense and get ready to begin to rain. She says this is “guiding others to work together and take action”.
 
Often where there are clouds there is mixed weather — sun, light rain, showers, even all-out pouring with flashes of lightning. Leaders need to be prepared for all kinds of weather without resistance.
 
When it rains it sometimes really pours. A great leader needs to be prepared to positively influence people and bring an umbrella to support a great project, a cause, a movement or a vision. True leading is being of service for others and taking full responsibility without a personal agenda.
 
When a storm front hits and things get intense, there can be intense thunder and lightning. These flashes and loud moments are like when leadership creates the opportunity to learn WHO you are when faced with challenge and see your moments of brilliance.
 
Rain has the amazing ability to cleanse and wash away the old. Great leaders don’t hold grudges – they release the old and start fresh every day. Humble authority and forgiveness are two of the deepest virtues of a leader.
 
As a coach and mentor, I have learned through many amazing opportunities to lead.
 
The number one essential learning was how to master my emotions and inner state…. When I accepted to hone my emotions and manage my state, I relaxed and trusted myself more. I am able to be inside of the “eye of the storm” with ease and grace, and know that everything is okay.
 
This okay-ness no matter what was happening supported me to simply be comfortable in my skin. Like when you go for a walk in the rain and let a good shower wash you skin deep.
 
There’s an old saying, “It takes good timing to make a rain dance”. Leadership can’t be forced. It first begins when you are true to yourself every day. Take charge on how you feel and eventually you will get comfortable in your skin and be totally authentic.
 
Authentic leadership isn’t about surviving the storm, it’s dancing in the rain and enjoying when the rainbows appears!
 
As your boys grow, how do you want to see them be in the world when it comes to leadership?
 
As my boys grow into men and deal with life’s storms, I would love to see them be the masters of their inner state, trust their intuition and lead with their heart.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Rae

Spanning 32 countries on 5 continents, Rae Chois has empowered people for over a decade to go beyond their ordinary selves into awakening and inspiring the best in themselves and others, earning her a worldwide reputation as a Master Certified Coach. She is a mother of two young boys and life long learner. For more information about Rae, go to www.raechois.com and www.MCRoadmap.
 
 

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Partnerships go along way!

When Passion Foundation was created the entire underlying principle was to co-create opportunities with young women through partnerships with other organizations to support them to live to their full potential. Over the last seven years it has not been an easy feat, for a number of reasons. However, there have been some amazing people within schools and organizations that have co-created and championed a real support network for young women in our communities with us. Tuesday was an amazing example of this.
 

For the past two years we have been working with the school coordinator at Byrne Creek Community, Mrs. Iha Farquhar-Hayer. She has been instrumental in the success and resource support for hundreds of youth in and around Vancouver and Bermuda. She is one of the most dedicated and innovative practitioners we’ve had the privilege of working with. She is someone who is deeply committed to the literacy and lives of young people.

Mrs. Iha Farquhar-Hayer and our community leaders

 

When Mrs. Farquhar- Hayer brought us into her school it was yet another innovative way of engaging some young women who needed and wanted the leadership learning and community we offer. The girls blossomed over the years not only staying committed to their leadership but also to their contribution to the community. In fact, with the support of Mrs. Farquhar-Hayer the group of the young women were the first to co-create a grade 7 transition program for girls in their neighbourhood. Two of the leadership group members were the first to be paid for creating a six week program for the girls from the elementary school. Read more about it here in the Burnaby Now.

Beauty Night Society doing makeovers

 

Since 5 of the 11 young women in our group were graduating this year we wanted to ensure they felt really special on their day. After all they had achieved it was the least we could do!  With limited resources we contacted a few spas in the area who were unable to support.  Then decided to reach out to our friends at Beauty Night Society. Immediately Caroline, ED of Beauty Night Society agreed. Another bump in the road. School closures.  We had no place to make this happen. We reached out to Marleen from South Burnaby Neighbourhood House and she got us a room in their facilities. Together between the three organizations and Mrs. Farquhar-Hayer  we provided 7 young women with a couple hours of pampering.

Thanks Beauty Night Society!

 

The girls had their hair, make-up, and nails done by the amazing volunteers at Beauty Night Society at the South Burnaby Neighbourhood House. Mrs. Farquhar-Hayer volunteered her time to come help out and our Executive Director, Loretta Cella, was able to provide snacks, treats, and sparkling apple juice for the girls. We have never seen the girls so excited and felt taken care of. Although a bit hectic getting them off in time for their prom the girls were shining from head to toe.
It really does take community coming together to create a network for social enhancement; each organization coming to the table with their own expertise and resources to support change for individuals and communities. We are so thrilled with all the our amazing partners globally and we look forward to creating more and more of them as we move forward on this journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To find our more about becoming a partner with us please contact us

 

 

Photo credits: Marleen Eberding 2014

 

 

 

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3 Pillars Interview with Cadi Jordan

Follow Cadi on Twitter! @cadijordan

 

How do you define leadership?

Leaders take charge of a situation and “make stuff happen”. They also encourage others to do the same. They aren’t just doing all of the work themselves but delegating to other people.  A leader is blazes their own path but they’re also training people under them to take charge.

 

Who encouraged you to be a leader?

I’ve always had entrepreneurial activities on the go. My current business Jordan Consulting is 5 years old. Many people in my life have thought that my business was a ‘hobby’ as I was getting started. Others said “Good for you for taking charge”. As an entrepreneur I have the ability to run my business and still pick my kids up after school.

Other entrepreneurs have encouraged me along the way. There are definitely people I look up to because there was something special about them. I think I saw them as leaders because they were doing their own thing and were not worried about what others were saying about them. I look up to other entrepreneurs that lead by example.

Cameron Harold has been very supportive of my work. Former CEO of 1-800-Got – Junk and has his own consulting business and author of “Double Double – The Book”. He has definitely encouraged me and he’s someone that I’m still connected to.

 


Cadi sharing some social media management expertise at the 2014 Social Media Camp.

 

Were the norms of your industry working against you?

I don’t know that the ‘norms’ were working against me. I don’t have a degree. I know, many entrepreneurs don’t.  I went through an Early Childhood Education program and worked with children with special needs before I got into the spa and wellness industry.  There were definitely people in my life that thought I had to have a business degree to do what I wanted to do. Even my own mother thought that I just had a little ‘side project’ on the go. I’m a go getter. I was the kid who skipped school in high school but still made honour role along the way. I am a connector by nature and connect with whoever I need to; to make things happen.

 

How often do you use creative thinking to overcome challenges?

I think as an entrepreneur you have to get creative all of the time. Especially when looking for creative content for social media marketing. I especially have to use it to deal with juggling a career and family. As an entrepreneur I can get creative with my schedule. It affords me the ability to pick up my kids from school and help others. My friend just passed away from brain cancer a few months ago, and I was able to spend 3 months to help them before he went to the hospice while still completing all of my work.

 

Were you always encouraged to be creative?

When I was younger my curiosity was always encouraged, and I was told I could do anything I wanted. But, later in life people would say, “Really? You’re doing that?” I guess it really depends what age and stage of life you’re in. So I thought, “Screw you, I’m going to do this anyways!” And then I went and started my own business working with children with Autism before the Government really had anything in place for that. No local colleges had programs yet. I did training with Pat Miranda out of UBC and other consultants that families hired out of the US.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you have any programs like PF available to you? How would a program like PF have changed your journey?
 

The guidance counsellor at my school established a peer counselling program to help kids if they were having problems at home or at school. I was a peer counsellor, ironically, because there I was having trouble at home too. In this program we actually ended up helping and listening to each other because we would talk about what was going on in our own lives. But, if I didn’t have the support from that program, or if I didn’t have the support from my friends? Would I have benefitted from a program like Passion Foundation? Absolutely I would have, I think any kid can benefit. I think my school was an exception because I don’t think most schools had what I had.

I also grew up going to church although I didn’t always walk my faith necessarily. I had a difficult home life at that time, and I definitely believe that it takes a village to raise a child. I have friends that I’ve had since I was two years old. I’ve been blessed to have different support networks along the way. It is so important to build a tribe and have people that have your back.

A program like Loretta is offering is enabling kids to empower themselves to make wise choices. So if you don’t have a support system at home then at least you have that program. It doesn’t matter how little time you spend in a program like Passion Foundation’s, even if they just stick it out a little while, the seeds have been planted and they will grow some other time down the line.

 

What advice would you give your 15 year old self?

Hang in there. Things are going to change.

 

Learn more about Passion Foundation’s awesome workshops that work to empower girls through leadership here.
 

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3 Pillars Interview with Alex Mazerolle

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
Alex is a Lululemon Ambassador, the voice and program designer of EA sports’ Yoga App Yogify, and the founder of Girlvana Yoga. Her journey as a dancer struggling with illness and injury through her teen years led Alex to use yoga as means to heal emotionally, mentally and physically years later. She devotes her life to the empowerment of teen girls to elevate the next generation of our women to be fully expressed heartfelt leaders.

 

How do you define leadership?
 
To me, leadership creates and empowers more leaders versus creating followers. It is about showing other people how powerful they are.
 
Who encouraged you to be a leader?
 
It always felt pretty natural. I grew up watching my father be leader in his career and the way he inspired and motivated people definitely made an impact on me. Seeing him definitely gave me permission to show up fully in my life. I also had some really power yoga teachers in my life who helped in my development.
 

 Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexMazerolle

 

Were you encouraged to think critically about the world? By whom?
 
I have a spiritual teacher who has expanded my views of the world and allowed me to see things differently. I am so grateful to her.
 

Were the norms of your industry working against you?
 
As a yoga teacher, I wanted to bring yoga and meditation to youth but no one was really doing it. It was a challenge to get yoga classes into high school and change people’s minds about the benefits of yoga and how they improve young girls’ lives. I created Girlvana Yoga for that reason.
 
A snapshot of Alex’s love for yoga and her role as a Lululemon Ambassador

 
When have you had to think outside the box to overcome a challenge?
 
I feel like I have always paved my own way and done things differently. Opening up my studio, Distrikt Movement , has really pushed my business partner and I to keep innovating and doing things differently to stay relevant. Owning a business offers plenty of challenges and we are constantly getting creative to overcome.
 
Did you have any programs like PF available to you? How would a program like PF have changed your journey?
 
I definitely did not. I grew up in a competitive dance environment that bred a lot of self-destructive patterns. Having access to something like PF would have broadened my horizons and connected me to my self-worth at an earlier age.
 
What advice would you give your 15 year old self?
 
The energy you direct to feeling bad about yourself or lesser than is a waste of time. Instead, direct your time and energy to making an impact, to expressing yourself creatively and giving love.
 
Learn more about how Passion Foundation empowers girls through leadership workshops here 
 
 

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A 3 Pillars Interview with Warren Te Brugge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warren’s focus in his consulting role in Manzimvula is on Equality, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility as it pertains to and affects Community and International Development.  Warren has worked in over 40 countries around the world building and leading highly successful and culturally-diverse teams. Warren pioneered the unique ‘Integrative Strategy Approach’ that engages entire organizations, helping leaders, teams and individuals to move from silos to unity, from intent to action, and from purpose to productivity. The catalogue of results speaks for itself: By uniting communities of focused personnel inside organizations and in communities themselves, Warren has helped spark standout performance and significant growth for each of his clients.

My Arms Wide Open , Warren’s family Foundation, takes a similar community-based approach to its work in support of local villages in his native South Africa, as well as in other communities around the world. The Foundation works primarily with mothers and children in struggling communities, helping them knit together positive intent with the actions of community members, developing opportunities for everyone grounded in creating a shared mindset through support, education, skills transfer and social enterprise. Through a division of My Arms Wide Open, called My World In a Garden  we also offer individuals the opportunity to travel and work alongside us and women and children in communities in South Africa and other countries.

 

How do you define leadership?

 

I define leadership as being in service and believing in the power and contribution of the individual to create the outcomes we want as communities, whether those communities are within organizations or as the communities within which we live and thrive. Leadership is the ability to see the good in the people around us, as well as in ourselves, and to be able to hear the messages people articulate and understanding what they need in terms of support and growth to be able to make meaningful contributions. It is in understanding that we should see that person and that each of us is different and we each deserve to be valued and accepted for who we are.

 

Warren speaking on empowering South African communities


Do women in your industry face adversity of some kind?

 

What makes the industry that I work in as a consultant so great is that there is no ‘boys club’ and therefore there are a significant number of very capable and highly passionate women involved as a result. That being said, most of the issues we deal with within organizations and communities are centred in prejudices against women and children. We focus on developing skills and opportunities for women to create change and growth in their communities as well as personal growth and leadership development for themselves.

 

What qualities to do you see in women who are successful in your industry?

 

Self-confidence, professionalism, knowledgeable, willing to contribute, they make a difference.

 

 

 What advice would you give your 15 year daughter?

 

The advice I give my own daughters and the women and girls I work with is based on how I treat them, respect them, and see them as a person more so than what my words might be. That being said, the ‘advice’ I would give, through the training and facilitations I do, is for them to be themselves and to know that they count and can do anything they choose to, irrespective of how society and men in general might hold them or judge them. They deserve the same treatment as any other person and where they do not receive that they should claim it for themselves and challenge thinking in a way that creates dialogue and communication through the way that they hold and present themselves, while still making the other party(s) feel heard and accepted as an individual, without taking on the other party’s values or judgement. Never give away or allow anyone else to take your power or allow them to diminish who you are in any way. Not an easy task at all but one that is achievable as they learn to love and value themselves and communicate and articulate their thoughts effectively.

 

In closing, I always let my girls know that they should always remain calm in challenging situations so that they can walk away knowing clearly that they communicated their own thoughts and remained in integrity.

 

Follow Warren on twitter @warrentedd 

Learn more about Warren’s foundation My Arms Wide Open here

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A 3 Pillars Interview with Sylvia Yu

 

 

Introduce yourself and your accomplishments. What you are currently working on?

 

My name is Sylvia Yu and my Twitter and Instagram accounts state that I’m a journalist, author, documentary filmmaker and philanthropy advisor based in Hong Kong.

 

Those titles may sound fancy, but first and foremost, I consider myself a humanitarian, as someone who uses all her talents, time and energy to end human slavery and issues that lead to trafficking like poverty in our lifetime. As a philanthropy advisor, I’ve managed more than $9 million, directing funds to mostly grassroots non-profit organizations in Asia and S.E. Asia that were tackling sex trafficking, poverty alleviation, support for impoverished migrants and care for orphans.

 

My dream is to raise all the money that I can to abolish human trafficking starting in Hong Kong, a strategic city that influences the rest of China—China has the second highest number of slaves in the world. If China, the world’s future superpower, can be slave-free, then this country could influence the rest of the world in ending slavery. I’ve often said to young people, find a dream or purpose that’s worth dying for. Ending slavery is just that for me.

 

This year, my goal is to raise at least $1 million for The Mekong Club (www.TheMekongClub.org) that fights slavery in the region and is led by prominent international human trafficking expert Matt Friedman (His amazing TED talkwww.youtube.com/watch?v=iU9TeVofkDo) and for very grassroots NGOs caring directly for slavery victims, both sex slavery and slave labour. I also produce films on a volunteer basis for non-profits to help raise funding.

 

My latest books will also be published this year on a chapter of untold history on the “comfort women” system. This was the earliest mass trafficking of girls and women as sex slaves in East Asia for the Japanese Imperial army before and during World War Two. It’s a historical wound that is still unresolved and still haunts Japan’s relations with Korea and China. Recently President Obama spoke with the presidents of Korea and Japan on how to resolve the issue of comfort women.

 

For my day job, or what I do that pays the bills, I produce documentaries on human trafficking and current affairs issues for a TV station in Hong Kong. The trafficking series was submitted to The Emmy Awards (the only story from our station) and I’ll find out this summer if I’m nominated. Recently I won a prestigious Human Rights Press Award for my films on sex slavery in China, Hong Kong and Thailand. This award is judged by my peers at The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, The HK Journalists’ Association and by a highly regarded human rights organization, Amnesty International, and for this reason, it means a great deal to me.

 

How do you define leadership?

 

Is anyone following you? You can’t be a leader if you don’t have any followers. And just because you have the title at work of manager or senior executive, it doesn’t mean you’re a good leader. People naturally gravitate to leaders who demonstrate contagious passion, vision, initiative, integrity, intuition and sensitivity toward others. A truly great leader is humble, wise, teachable and willing to work with others more talented and gifted than they are and galvanize all towards a common goal. I’ve had two horrible bosses in my career out of many wonderful ones, and the toxic bosses demonstrated the opposite of the qualities I’ve listed above. They say that you learn more from bad experiences than from positive ones. It’s true. Terrible bosses can literally beat the bad boss out of you if you learn what kind of leader not to be– that is if you process well and take the lessons to heart.

 

Sylvia receiving the 2013 International Human Rights Press Award (TV Merit) from the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, the Hong Kong Journalists Association & Amnesty International HK.

 

Who encouraged you to be a leader?

 

I’ve had a few exceptionally supportive teachers and mentors who were role models and went out of their way to affirm my talents and strengths. But I’d say the earliest encouragement to take responsibility, and lead by putting others first, started at home. I was encouraged especially by my mom to speak my mind; no one stifled my voice in my Korean family where girls traditionally in our culture had to be docile and listen to authority without questioning. That Korean ‘filial piety’ (an extreme sense of duty to one’s parents) gene must’ve left the building when I was born. As the eldest child with busy immigrant parents, I had a lot of responsibilities to oversee my siblings and make sure they were fed or doing OK.

 

Were you encouraged to think critically about the world? By whom?

 

I’ve always been naturally rebellious. The first words out of my mouth were probably, “no” and “why?” I am half-kidding, however I am naturally curious and desired to see beyond the surface. Reading voraciously helps develop a critical mind. In my tweens and high school, I read widely including encyclopedias for fun. It’s vital to develop critical thinking early on as this will help arm you for life.

 

A news story on Sylvia’s documentary “Helpers’ Hell” which covers the slavery aspects of domestic helper work

Were the norms of your industry working against you?

Despite that we’ve made a lot of progress in gender and racial equality, there are still times when I feel that an imbalance or discrimination exists. For change to take place, women and minorities need to repeatedly stand up for their rights and to encourage their organization to evolve.

 

When have you had to think outside the box to overcome a challenge?

 

This is a fantastic question. I can think of several instances but the one that stands out is when I was producing my documentary on human slavery in Bangkok in December 2012. The NGO that promised to help me line up interviews with victims of sex slavery canceled on me at the last minute. I was stranded in Thailand with a looming deadline of only 3 more filming days left. I did what every cool-headed producer does while trying to creatively problem-solve: I panicked and hyperventilated. And cried. I jest (in part). This quandary forced me to scour the streets of the red light district to look for victims myself. It was dangerous at times, but it helped me empathize with the women victims more—I could identify with them as I put myself in their shoes as I walked the streets where they walk. And I didn’t take foolish risks. But in the end, I was able to interview one victim of sex slavery from Africa who was in a terrible situation and thankfully I was able to expose what she was going through and raise awareness.

Sylvia anchoring at a Hong Kong news station.

 

Did you have any programs like PF available to you? How would a program like PF have changed your journey?

 

Wow, a program like PF would have altered my journey, for sure.  And I’m not just saying that for this blog post.

“To have mentors and people encourage you to nurture dreams and passions; and to be surrounded by a community of young women working towards similar goals—it would’ve felt too good to be true.”

My community and most of the role models in junior high school were from church. They were volunteer Sunday school teachers and sometimes crabby and not really motivated to mentor us. The older leaders mostly left us younger ones on our own. We entertained ourselves. This “mentor deficit” later motivated me to become a youth leader at my church on a part-time basis while studying at UBC and I became passionately committed to mentoring as many young people as I could even if it was an email or a brief chat. We need to affirm one another. There’s too much back-biting and tearing down of other people.

 

What advice would you give your 15 year old self?

 

Be fearless. Don’t be afraid to go for what you want. Don’t hold back. At 15, I held back from going after what I wanted. Saddled with a heavy dose of perfectionism, I was afraid of failing. My performance became my identity.

If I failed to get an A+, then I was a failure. I guess that’s called perfectionism, and perhaps it was brought on by an Asian culture of performance-based affirmation. Sadly at the time, I didn’t have anyone in my life to help identify it. It’s a miracle that it didn’t cripple me! From this I learned it’s important to live a balanced life. If you work hard, play harder. And since, I’ve also learned to discern the difference between soul-crushing perfectionism and keeping to a standard of excellence at all times.

I want to take this opportunity to also thank my cousin Vanessa Smith who invited me to respond to these wonderful questions. Vanessa, you’re doing an AWESOME job!!! Way to go in changing the world through a powerful local platform!

 

Watch Sylvia’s documentary that won a Human Rights Press Award: Hong Kong’s Hidden Human Slavery Documentary

Part 1

 

Part 2

See Sylvia’s blog:http://lightonecandle.wordpress.com/

Follow Sylvia on Twitter @Light1Candle

 

 

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