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Who We Are

Girls E-Mentorship (GEM) is a registered charitable organization that offers an innovative mentorship program for high school girls facing multiple barriers. We equip girls with the necessary skills to achieve their grown-up aspirations, building a diverse network of talented, vibrant women and girls to inspire and support one another.

Since GEM’s launch in 2012, we have served over 170 girls in Toronto, seeing them through to post-secondary pursuits, including university entry. We have seen mentorship relationships deepen and girls transformed into confident, empowered young women.

Our Mission / Vision

OUR MISSION

Our mission is to provide an innovative mentorship experience for motivated high school girls facing multiple barriers.    

OUR VISION

Our vision is for girls to reach their full potential, and emerge as empowered young women and future female leaders.   

Our History

Girls E-Mentorship (GEM) was founded in 2012 by Rochelle de Goias, a Senior Policy Advisor who spent the first half of her career working as an analyst and consultant in both the private and public sectors.

Rochelle graduated from University of London with an MA in International Relations. During her graduate studies, Rochelle felt she lacked professional female mentors who could help guide her towards her goals and aspirations.

She became passionate about creating a program to empower adolescent girls through mentorship and creating a mentorship culture in Toronto.

What started out as a small pilot program based in Flemington Park, has grown to accept girls from all across the GTA.

Read a feature on our founder Rochelle.

THE PILOT

In 2013, we worked with 22 girls facing multiple barriers from high priority neighborhoods in Toronto to design and implement an innovative mentorship program. The pilot was hugely successful.

Our belief is that charitable programming can be innovative and should take a co-creative approach. This meant designing our program with help from mentees, mentors, policy developers, social workers, teachers, and community stakeholders.

Mentee Profile:

  • Mentees are extremely stressed, busy, and over achieving
  • Over 80% of GEMgirls said they experienced average or more than average stress
  • 78% of pilot GEMgirls are pursuing STEM professions after high school.
  • Significant pressure on girls to succeed
  • GEMgirls struggle with time management, dealing with failure and managing expectation

PILOT RESULTS

Overall response to the program was very positive

After a three-month pilot:

  • 100% of the girls said they would recommend GEM to a friend
  • 33% of pre-pilot GEMgirls reported that they felt they could achieve their aspirations. This rose to 63% post-pilot
  • No pre-pilot GEMgirls responded “yes” when asked if they felt prepared for the next chapter in their life. This increased to 25% post-pilot

Other successes:

  • Helped mentees gain insight into careers that interested them
  • Provided an opportunity to ask professional women questions
  • Exposed mentees to new careers
  • Allowed mentees to explore issues of self-esteem and confidence

Our Team

angelina pun

Executive Director
angelina@girlsementorship.com

Angelina brings significant experience in the not-for-profit sector in both Canada and the United Kingdom, with organizations such as East London Advanced Technology Training (ELATT), Richmond University, and the Heart & Stroke Foundation. She has also worked in a volunteer fundraising capacity for numerous organizations, such as Project Sunshine Canada and Mooredale Community Centre, as well as in marketing and operations with LVMH. Along with her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western Ontario, Angelina holds a Graduate Diploma of Education from Griffith University, Australia and a Masters of Business Administration from Richmond University, UK.

tara norohna

Program Manager
tara@girlsementorship.com

Tara has over six years of experience in client care, program development and team management. With a degree in Industrial Design and Project Management, Tara considers herself “process-obsessed” and user-focused.  Tara understands the need to equip girls with the necessary tools to support and achieve their dreams. She is enthusiastic and committed to providing GEM participants with interactive and purposeful programming.

kirsten desabrais

Communications and Events Manager
kirsten@girlsementorship.com

Kirsten is a creative thinker, who is passionate about clearly communicating organizational objectives through meaningful storytelling. Kirsten has held positions at Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Canada, Girls Inc. Head Office in New York City and has volunteered extensively at other non-profit organizations both nationally and internationally.  Kirsten has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto, and recently graduated from the professional writing and communications program at Humber College.

Our Board

Rochelle de Goias

Founder | Co-Chair
rochelle@girlsementorship.com

Rochelle is an experienced political analyst and consultant focusing on program development, design and evaluation.  She spent several years in France, the United Kingdom and Japan researching and studying international relations, political violence and risk.  She has also worked for the United Nations evaluating child labour reduction programs in South East Asia.
Most recently she was a Senior Policy Advisor for the Ministry of the Environment and a Senior Business Consultant with the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment. She holds a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of London and a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University.

Mary Lee

Co-Chair

Mary brings over 30 years of diverse management experience in a variety of industry segments; notably financial services, management consulting, packaged goods, media, technology and most recently telecommunications.  Her career has included engagement at Citibank, TD Bank, IBM, Colgate Palmolive, KPMG just to name a few.  Over the last few years, Mary has focused her efforts in founding, building and the ultimate sale of an international payment company.  She is currently responsible for the strategic management and leadership of CMC + Co, a technology based Telecom Expense Management company.  She also has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Manitoba and an MBA from the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto.

Jenny Seto

Treasurer

Jenny has over 20 years of experience in the areas of corporate taxation, finance and audit in the financial services industry.  She is currently the Director of Taxation at Intact Financial Corporation which is the largest property casualty insurer in Canada. Jenny is also co-owner of Toronto based Goneshopping.ca, an online lifestyle webstore that she manages in addition to her role at Intact. Jenny graduated from the University of Waterloo with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 1991 and obtained her Certified General Accountants designation in 2000.

laura nourse

Secretary

Laura is a corporate and commercial lawyer who works in the financial services industry for one of the largest insurers in Canada. She previously worked at a major national law firm and for a large natural resources company based in Colombia. She holds a BSc in genetics and biochemistry from Western University and a J.D. from Western University.

Anne-Marie Sorrenti

Board Member

Anne-Marie supports the promotion of women into leadership positions through her consulting and coaching business, Sorrenti Leadership Consulting. She holds a law degree (JD) from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and a PhD in Renaissance Italian Studies from the University of Toronto. She has also studied in Montreal (McGill) and conducted research in Italy (Florence, Siena, Rome and Milan). She previously practised corporate and entertainment law at a major national law firm (Heenan Blaikie, LLP) and has taught at the University of Toronto. She is passionate about the value of education, training, and mentoring, especially for young women. Anne-Marie is a licensed practitioner of The Birkman Method® assessment and is pursuing advanced corporate coach credentials with the International Coaching Federatio.

maria vilshanski

Board Member

Maria brings over 10 years of experience in Talent Acquisition and Employer Branding across a diverse range of industries. Maria currently serves as a Manager, Employer Branding & Talent Acquisition at EllisDon, where she and her team of four manage and direct both national and international strategic talent initiates. She was most recently presented with the Rising Star Award (HR’s next generation) for her critical contributions to a major billion dollar project. Maria is a York University graduate, with a Bachelors of Honors in Human Resources.

naomi zener

Board Member

Naomi is an entertainment, media, technology, business affairs and legal executive management professional licensed to practice law in both California and Ontario. She holds a B.A. in political science from McGill University, a J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School, and an LL.M. from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. Last, She is a published fiction author–her debut novel, Deathbed Dimes, was released in the summer of 2014.

Pamela borges

Board Member

Pamela is a marketing and external affairs strategist who has worked in the biopharmaceutical industry both in Canada and internationally for over 17 years. In her career she has engaged a broad spectrum of private and public stakeholders locally and abroad to improve patient access to innovative medicines. She has been based in Toronto, Montreal and at a global headquarters in Paris where she collaborated closely with the US, Europe and Asia Pacific markets.  She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto.

susan humphrey

Board Member

Susan is an experienced educator and has worked for the past two decades as an Art and English teacher with the York Region District Board of Education. Susan has taught a wide range of adolescents and has mentored dozens of student teachers in B.Ed programmes.  Prior to her career in secondary education, Susan was the Exhibitions Co-ordinator at  the McMichael Gallery.  She has an Honors Bachelor of Arts from Western, a Bachelor of Education  from OISE/U of T and a Master of Arts degree in Art History from Queen’s University.