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“GEM gave me the confidence to go after the things I want”

September 22, 2017

Mathurah Ravigulan was one of the amazing GEMgirls in 2016-17 and one of the GEM Scholarship recipients. We interviewed her about her experience in The GEM Program. Mentorship really makes a difference in a person’s life. I loved how GEM gave me the confidence to go after the things I want. My favourite part of … Read more


GEM’s Founder shared her career advice with BTNH

September 21, 2017

GEM’s Founder, Rochelle de Goias, was featured in Be The Next Her, a career blog for women. She was interviewed about her carrer path, why she founded GEM and what challenges women face when following their passion. Here’s the full interview by Amanda Dipasquale: -What is your morning routine? -I’m pretty busy in the morning … Read more


“Thanks to GEM I’m not afraid to think big”

September 20, 2017

Khalida Elsadati was one of the amazing GEMgirls in 2016-17 and one of the GEM Scholarship recipients. We interviewed her about her experience in The GEM Program. “GEM has been such a rewarding experience, and I’m so glad to have been a part of it. I’ve had the opportunity to network with young women from … Read more


McGill News featured GEM’s mentorship program

August 8, 2017

GEM’s Founder, Rochelle de Goias, was featured in McGill News Alumni Magazine. She was interview by Brenda Branswell about what inspired her to create GEM and how the organization has grown since 2012. Here’s the full article Toronto mentors help girls facing multiple barriers by Brenda Branswell:    Fresh out of graduate school and faced with … Read more


GEM: A Real Gem of a Program

July 17, 2017

Imagine a room full of women with superpowers. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Well, you don’t need to look inside a comic book to see these superwomen, because you can see them in real life. They are the ambitious, intelligent and beautiful women that are part of Girl’s E-Mentorship (GEM). I have had the pleasure of … Read more

Kuralay Zhaksylyk 
Rochelle de Goias

How to launch a charity while being a mom

July 6, 2017

Rochelle de Goias, GEM’s Founder, was interviewed by Love, Mom on how to lead a charity that is changing the lives of high school girls in Toronto while being the mom of two little ones.  Read her full interview below. LM: What’s a secret power you count on to keep it together? R: “Determination. At work, … Read more


How to dress for an interview

July 5, 2017

As if figuring out what to wear in the morning isn’t stressful enough, deciding what to wear to an interview can be seen as added pressure. As soon as you walk into the interview room, before you even get a chance to speak, your outfit contributes to the first impression you leave on the interviewer. … Read more

Sara Ahmed

We’re hiring: Graphic Designer (Part-Time)

June 23, 2017

GEM is looking for a part-time (10 hours per week) Junior Graphic Designer who creates aesthetically stunning work based on the organization’s strategic objectives and style.  This is a fantastic learning opportunity for an ambitious young designer/graphic design student who is interested in developing their skills and building their portfolio.  The selected candidate will help … Read more


Answering Interview Questions 101

June 1, 2017

Why do you want this job? What is your biggest weakness? How much do you expect to be paid? Chances are, you’ve been subjected to at least one of these questions at a job interview. But what is the right answer, and what happens if you can’t think of any response at all? Don’t fret. … Read more

Kuralay Zhaksylyk 

Run for GEM at the B&O Yorkville Run

May 18, 2017

GEM is participating for the first time in the Bang & Olufsen Yorkville Run! What’s the B&O Yorkville Run? Well, it’s a super fun 5K race that unites local runners and businesses to raise funds for local charities. It is well-known for being one the coolest races in Toronto and because it offers THE BEST … Read more


A resume that stands out

May 4, 2017

We’ve all been there. You’re writing up your resume, maybe dropping it off somewhere, and you can’t help but think–Is my resume any different than all the others? And it’s a good question. It’s important to have a strong and effective resume since it can play a key role in helping you score that oh-so-desired … Read more

Aaliyah Dasoo

How to build an all-star LinkedIn profile

April 13, 2017

LinkedIn is a great place to start building your personal brand. It’s an online network where you can make connections, gain access to opportunities, and research career paths! But the only way you can use LinkedIn to its fullest potential is to build a great profile! Here are some tips on how to create a great LinkedIn … Read more

Mathurah Ravigulan

Fatima Waheed: Why become a GEMgirl?

April 10, 2017

Fatima Waheed was one of the amazing GEMgirls in 2015-16. Her mentor was Natalie Ceccato. We interviewed her about her experience in The GEM Program. -What did you love about the GEM program? -My favorite part about the GEM program was being part of the Influencers of Tomorrow Summit. I found the event very engaging and … Read more


Scholarship applications are open!

April 7, 2017

On May 13th, at our final GEMinar, we will be celebrating the end of the 2016-17 GEM program by awarding four scholarships.  All GEMgirls  are invited to submit their applications.   SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE GEM Scholarship ($1000) GEM Scholarship ($1000) The Bishop Strachan School, Summer Academy Grade 10 (Math/Canadian History/Science) The Bishop Strachan School, Summer Academy … Read more


Roz McLean and her secrets to success

March 28, 2017

Roz McLean is an Associate at Burgundy Asset Management and was the talented speaker at our GEMinar Three. GEM interviewed her to find out her secrets to success. Here she talks about her motivations, time-management skills, and passions -Did you always know that you wanted to work in finance when you were in high school? … Read more

Mathurah Ravigulan

Sadia Khan: Why become a GEMgirl?

March 27, 2017

Sadia Khan was one of the amazing GEMgirls in 2015-16. Her mentor was Tara Breckenridge. We interviewed her about her experience in The GEM Program.  -What did you love about the GEM program? -I loved the GEMinars. It was very insightful to hear about the different possibilities I had for my future. -What did you … Read more


We’re hiring: Fundraiser (part-time)

March 15, 2017

Role: Fundraiser (Part-time, contract, option to extend) Girls E-Mentorship (GEM) is a charitable organization founded in 2012 that offers an innovative mentorship program for motivated high school girls in Toronto, facing socio-economic barriers. GEM’s mission is to equip girls with the necessary skills to achieve their grown-up aspirations and build a diverse network of talented, … Read more


Ameera Seiyad: Why become a GEMgirl?

March 13, 2017

Ameera Seiyad was one of the amazing GEMgirls in 2014-15. Her mentor was Leslie Fullerton. We interviewed her about her experience in The GEM Program. -What did you love about the GEM program? -GEM allowed me to have my own ideas. I gained confidence and skills that I use every day. It has impacted me … Read more


Help GEMgirls blossom

March 8, 2017

Happy International Women’s Day to all the AMAZING girls and women out there! We love you, we believe in you, and we encourage you to #BeBoldForChange today and every day. Here at GEM, we work boldly to change and improve the lives of high school girls through mentorship. To celebrate this day, the talented team behind Leaves … Read more


Equality Matters

March 8, 2017

This year, Canada’s theme for International Women’s Day is Equality Matters and we would like to share with you all some interesting facts. #EqualityMatters because it is good for the economy, for the children, for the democracy, for EVERYBODY! Did you know that… -According to RBC, the increased economic participation of women resulted in a $130 billion contribution … Read more


Nabela Alam: Why become a GEMgirl?

February 27, 2017

Nabela Alam was one of the amazing GEMgirls in 2014-15. Her mentor was Verity Sylvester. We interviewed her about her experience in The GEM Program. -What did you love about the GEM program? -My favourite part of The GEM Program was being able to attend the GEMinars. My favorite one was one called Beat the … Read more


How to Give and Receive Feedback

February 15, 2017

Feedback is necessary to grow, improve and reach your potential. Whether it be a second opinion on your English essay or a perspective on your company’s outreach event, being open to receiving feedback, listening to perspectives, building self-awareness and acting upon suggestions is essential for your personal development. Here are some recommendations from the talented … Read more

Mathurah Ravigulan

Hira Durvesh: Why become a GEMgirl?

February 13, 2017

Hira Durvesh was one of our amazing GEMgirls in 2015-16. Her mentors were Alison Simpson and Alexis Wolski. We interviewed her about her experience in The GEM Program. -What did you love about the GEM program? -My favourite part of The GEM Program was being able to connect with professional women who came from a … Read more


We’re hiring GEMgirls: Bloggers + Outreach Interns

February 2, 2017

BLOGGER INTERN Spring Placement (2 positions) Job Category: Part-time, Contract Contact Length: February 20th– May 20th Job description This is a contract position for a four-month internship with Girls E-Mentorship Innovation (GEM). The successful candidate will write monthly posts and articles for GEM website and social media channels. GEMgirls only.  This is a fantastic learning … Read more


Selina McCallum: Why become a GEMgirl?

February 1, 2017

Selina McCallum was one of the amazing GEMgirls in 2014-15. Her mentors were Amoryn Engel and Sharlyn Carrington. We interviewed her about her experience in The GEM Program. -What did you love about The GEM Program? -My favourite part of the GEM program were the GEMinars. I liked that each one had something different to … Read more


How to communicate effectively and build networks

January 12, 2017

Communication plays a key role in everyday interactions. Imagine you find yourself in a situation where you meet an executive of a company you want to learn more about, a job recruiter, or someone who has a career in the field you are wishing to pursue. In all these scenarios, building an effective connection and … Read more

Mathurah Ravigulan
A girl and her mentor talking about personal branding strategy

Tips to develop a successful personal branding strategy

October 18, 2016

Everyone has goals, ambitions and unique things about their personalities that make us who we are. Sometimes people forget how important personal branding is, and this GEMinar helped us realize that. The first step to developing a successful personal branding strategy is to know yourself, your strengths, your values, and your mission. Superpowers: Knowing your … Read more

Mathurah Ravigulan

Congrats GEMerald Award Winners!

June 9, 2016

This year GEM started a scholarship fund called the GEMerald Awards. The intention is that every year the GEM community of mentors, supporters and donors will contribute to a fund that will benefit GEMgirls pursuing further education. This year we had a fantastic group of GEMgirls win 5 awards. Each GEMgirl was encouraged to apply … Read more


Career Spotlight: Thrive Natural Family Health

June 9, 2016

We all know about Family Doctors, and surgeons, and many of us pursue these careers, but how many of us know about complimentary health professionals? At our Thrive Medical coffee chat, GEM girls were able to sit down with a chiropractor Dr. Jennifer Wise, a Naturopath Dr. Kristen Heins, and a Psychologist Dr. Chelsea Sherrington … Read more

Tabassum L

BSS Summer Academy Math Scholarship

June 1, 2016

The Bishop Strachan School and Girls E-Mentorship have a Summer Academy Math Scholarship available for young women entering Grades 9 and 10 next year. Last year, Isha received this scholarship. After her summer course, she was offered the chance to apply for a scholarship for Grade 9 at The Bishop Strachan School. The following is … Read more


Calling a Minga: Influencers of Tomorrow Summit

May 2, 2016

The call of a “minga” is a very powerful thing. We came together on April 16, at the annual Influencers of Tomorrow summit, to benefit all people. That is essentially what the call of “minga” is, at least according to Marc Kielburger, the co-founder of Free the Children and Me to We. The Influencers of … Read more

Tabassum L

Top 3 Reasons Carmen The Opera was Awesome

April 12, 2016

What an evening! I found myself completely mesmerized by the performance at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. That’s how I and 19 other GEMgirls and mentors got to spend our Saturday night, attending the final dress rehearsal of the Canadian Opera Company’s performance of Carmen, on April 9. The distinguishing reasons that made … Read more


How Volunteering Has Helped Me in My Job Search

April 6, 2016

Currently, I am a GEM volunteer finishing a post-graduate degree in Public Relations. This entire semester has been spent focusing on finding a summer position. How do I find the time to be in school full time, work part-time and volunteer? The answer is simple: I make time. Volunteering has not only helped me on … Read more


Carmen as a Connector

April 6, 2016

Blog written by Alexander Neef, General Director of the Canadian Opera Company Saturday April 9th, 20 GEMgirls and their mentors are attending the final dress rehearsal of the Canadian Opera Company’s performance of Carmen, at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Opera synthesizes many arts forms—music, drama, design, art— and, conceived over 400 … Read more


How To Get Your Dream Summer Job

March 31, 2016

GEMinar 6 was all about the prepping for interviews and landing the job. It was hosted by GEM mentor Jenna Claires, who gave a wonderful presentation, which involved many activities like; drawing your interview outfit, and interview role play. This served by giving us a better understanding of the situations, and the activities that will … Read more

Tabassum L

How to help your mentee deal with job rejection

March 30, 2016

At GEM, we believe that young women should be ambitious and unafraid to go after their dream job. As many of us know, ambitious people often face a lot of rejection before they land in a place they want to be. Learning to deal with job rejection is an important part of a young woman’s … Read more

Sarah McNeil

Shadeism: A conversation with director Nayani Thiyagarajah

March 22, 2016

 At the end of last year, GEM hosted a private film screening of ‘Shadeism: Digging Deeper’; a documentary by Toronto-based director and film-maker Nayani Thiyagarajah. We invited Nayani along with executive producer Muna Ali and post-production & associate producer Camaro West for an intimate Q&A session with our GEMgirls and staff after the screening and … Read more


Mentorship Tips: How to help your mentee land a summer job

March 14, 2016

The weather is warming up, final exams are approaching and summer is just around the corner. For most high school students, the end of the school year means the start of a summer job. In cities like Toronto, jobs can be competitive and difficult to find, especially for high school students. Here are some ways … Read more

Sarah McNeil

March Break. Are you bored yet? Ideas to make the most of it

March 14, 2016

March Break: a much needed time off from high-school. The obvious thing to do during these 120-hours of freedom is to sleep in and relax. But in order to make the most of your March break, you have to do the most. There are little distractions, like school, homework, and extra-curricular during the break, so … Read more

Tabassum L

Why we need female mentors who are just starting their careers

February 29, 2016

If you were asked to describe what a mentor looks like, what would you say? The first image that likely comes to mind for many is someone who is well-established, confident, and influential in their field. Mentorship from industry veterans can be a key factor in a young woman’s success. But what about mentors who … Read more

Sarah McNeil

Networking from High School to Higher Education

February 26, 2016

When high school students are making the transition from secondary school to higher education they spend a lot of time focused on their grades. Don’t get me wrong, good marks and strong course selections are the foundation of any great application, but it’s only part of the package. An important component that is often overlooked … Read more

Lisa Orr

Career Spotlight: Finance with Burgundy Asset Management

February 25, 2016

During the last coffee chat on February 19, myself and twenty-two GEM girls got to spend their time at Burgundy Asset Management. Burgundy is a global investment company that provides discrete investment management for private clients. GEM mentor Anne Maggissano organized an afternoon where GEMgirls were shown the red carpet. Roz McLean, a private client … Read more

Tabassum L

GEMinar 5: Networking IRL

February 16, 2016

No matter what field you are in or decide to go into, networking is crucial. You shouldn’t miss any opportunity to do so because you never know how many connections the other person may have. I’ve always enjoyed meeting new people and networking but I never realized how it was such an important skill to possess. It will always … Read more

Shanzah Zulfiqar

Mentorship Tips: How to help a student mentee craft an elevator pitch

February 11, 2016

In our fast-paced world, a well-crafted speech designed to ‘sell yourself’ in a very short time frame is a crucial component of networking. Most of our mentees have never thought of this. And even if they have, what do they do if they feel like they have nothing to ‘sell’? Most articles about creating an … Read more

Sarah McNeil

How to grow your network, when you’re only in high school!

February 10, 2016

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” I was always (and still am) a shy person. Hearing these words was often discouraging for me. Networking was something I wasn’t exactly sure how to approach. Having immigrated to Canada as a teenager, my family knew nobody. There was tremendous stress to learn, adapt and … Read more

GEM Mentor

Exams are done! Now what?

February 5, 2016

As I sit in front of my TV watching yet another episode of Scream Queens, I wonder to myself what that nagging feeling is. I fidget around trying my best to relax after a tough week of exams and weeks of studying. I try to think of something I may have to do and have … Read more

Tabassum L

The Art of Small Talk    

February 4, 2016

We’ve all been there. That moment when you are standing next to someone you’ve just met with nothing to say. Or maybe you’d like to start a conversation with someone but you don’t know how. Small talk is an art. There are those of us who are naturally gifted and those who have to work … Read more

GEM Mentor

Mentorship + Art

January 28, 2016

Last weekend, two of our GEMgirls and their mentors attended The Mirvish performance of The Phantom of the Opera at the Princess of Whales Theatre. These tickets are a part of our unique Arts & Culture Program. The program, sponsored by the Phelan Foundation, purchases tickets to cultural events in the city for our mentees … Read more


Exam Writing Tips

January 25, 2016

Years of exam writing has prepped me for this moment: the day I get to share all my exam writing wisdom with you! Kidding. The truth? I didn’t know I had tips. That was until my brother called me a few weeks ago, panicked, half an hour before his high-pressure exam asking for help. This … Read more

Cass Hammett

Time Management for 2016

January 18, 2016

Stepping into 2016 was refreshing; inspired new ideas, ambitious goals and rejuvenated energy. That is, until I opened my inbox. GEM also has ambitious and exciting plans for 2016, and two weeks away from GEM headquarters can really fill up your To-Do list quickly. By day two into the first workweek back, I felt overwhelmed … Read more

Cass Hammett

Tips for Dealing with Procrastination

January 11, 2016

Our time is a limited resource. We all prefer to spend our time on activities that are fun and enjoyable.  And we all put off doing the work that does not interest us or we find daunting. We are all procrastinators. However, unexciting projects still need to be completed. To avoid last minute stress there … Read more

GEM Mentor

Looking back on 2015

January 5, 2016

New Year, new beginnings; or so they say. I believe it’s less about new beginnings, and more about improving what’s already there. 2015 was a relatively calm year for me, yet at the same time very eventful. My resolution for 2015 was to get out of my comfort zone, and get more invested into my … Read more

Tabassum L

2016, It’s a New Year!

December 31, 2015

Yes, it’s that time of the year again! The year is ending, it’s holiday season, winter break is here, exams are starting and 2016 is about to begin! The past year has gone by in the blink of an eye and I cannot emphasize its importance in my life. It has made me stronger, smarter … Read more

Shanzah Zulfiqar

Top 5 FUN and FREE things to do over the break

December 22, 2015

  You have two weeks off of school. You relax, you sleep, you relax some more, you make some pizza, you eat the pizza, you watch all six seasons of Modern Family and now you’re utterly bored. You even did your homework- okay, we all know you didn’t do your homework. If you’re like me, … Read more

Tabassum L

GEMinar #4 and the Power of Mind-Mapping

December 11, 2015

The human brain is probably the most complicated thing in the entire world ; even more than physics and calculus! People have been trying to understand how it functions since the beginning of time and yet find something completely new every day. Have you ever wondered how many thoughts and ideas go through your mind … Read more

Shanzah Zulfiqar

Overcoming Obstacles

December 7, 2015

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” ~Michael Jordan Obstacles present themselves in all shapes and sizes. Some are so small that we don’t think twice about how to tackle them, … Read more

GEM Mentor


November 26, 2015

Growing up being a caramel coloured skin South Asian with a mother that looks middle-eastern, doesn’t always put you in the most comfortable position in society. Is she your daughter? Really? She doesn’t look much like her sister! Oh well, she probably resembles her dad. If I had a dollar for every time I heard those … Read more

Shanzah Zulfiqar

GEMinar #3: Stylized Study Tips

November 24, 2015

“I’m not really a math person.” Says every other person I have ever met. I happen to be one of those people who will always understand math. I can ace the test without studying for it, but chemistry really confuses me. It takes a lot of hard work for me to maintain a grade in … Read more

Tabassum L

Coffee Chat #1 – Taking the next step

November 11, 2015

Should I include my family history? The Honesty award I got in fifth grade? What about my club memberships? The dog walking job I had for three years? My family income? Whether you’re applying to university in the next few months, or the next few years, you’re going to have a lot of the same … Read more

Tabassum L

Day of the Girl

November 11, 2015

Generations of incredible women have created a change and a community in which the dehumanization of women is intolerable. It’s crazy to think that a hundred years ago in Canada, women weren’t even legally considered persons. Today that notion has long faded in Canada, but the same can’t be said for places around the world. … Read more

Tabassum L

GEMinar 2: Beat the Busy Brain

October 22, 2015

On Friday October 2nd, we had our second GEMinar at the Aga Khan Museum and I wouldn’t be wrong if I said it was the best so far! All of the girls in the program are in high school and many are in their senior year aka stress year. In order for us to get … Read more

Shanzah Zulfiqar

October 13, 2015

Setting goals…Seems fairly straightforward: Set the goal, think about how you are going to do it, and then do it. Right? Maybe. In today’s social media driven society, the future that we envision for ourselves is constantly being influenced and compared to everyone else’s present. Food for thought: Are we setting goals for ourselves, or … Read more


Parent’s Night

October 6, 2015

Shanza Zulfiqar is a Creative Writing Intern for GEM and she recently attended the GEM Parent Night to see what our GEMgirls and their parents thought of the evening. On Wednesday Septembers the 30th, GEM had its first Parent’s Night at the Thorncliffe Neighborhood Office, which turned out be a huge success. A lot of … Read more

Shanzah Zulfiqar

Aspirations & Impressions

October 5, 2015

Tabassum Lakhi is a Creative Writing Intern at GEM and also a GEMgirl. Tabbassum shares her first impressions and hopes for the year ahead in the GEM program. Interviews are intimidating. It’s all about what you can do for the interviewer, what you can bring to the business, and why you’re the right choice. But seldom do … Read more

Tabassum L

New Beginnings

October 1, 2015

Shanza Zulfiqar is a current GEMgirl and a Creative Writing Intern at GEM this year. She’s a grade 12 student at Marc Garneau collegiate, aspiring writer and law student hopeful. She gives us her impression of the GEMprogram so far. To me, change and new beginnings have always seemed scary. I keep thinking “How do … Read more

Shanzah Zulfiqar

First Impressions

September 23, 2015

Three weeks ago we said goodbye to summer and hello to a whole new school year. We met new classmates, and reconnected with old friends. Some of us were ready to get back into that old hectic routine, but other’s just wanted to climb back into bed. Personally, I was more than ecstatic to begin … Read more

Tabassum L

2015-2016 GEM Program Launches this week!

September 14, 2015

We’ve been working hard all summer, even if it doesn’t look like it (see above!) and we’re so excited about the year ahead! We matched 28 amazing young GEMgirls with 29 GEMmentors. AND we just hired 6 new Interns! So next step is to kick-off the program! Friday September 18th we’re hosting our first GEMinar for … Read more


On my way to Europe, I Noticed The Changing Face of Air Travel

September 1, 2015

GEM Creative Writing Intern, Mishal Dar, travelled to Europe this summer with her family. In this week’s blog she investigated first hand if the air travel industry is still stuck in stereotypical gender roles, or is it changing? Summer travelling. That special vacation time when everything imaginable goes into the suitcase and anticipation of hotel room service and warm … Read more

Mishal Dar

Thank you, Toronto Parapan Am Games!

August 19, 2015

As the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games have come to a close, so has my time volunteering with them during this past week. I was lucky enough to be stationed at the Pan/Parapan Am Fields (PAF) once again, and work alongside the same group of volunteers I was with during Pan Am. It was wonderful … Read more

Vanessa Mugoa

The Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games Volunteer Experience

August 6, 2015

Recently our Creative Writing Volunteer Vanessa Mugoa had the awesome opportunity to be a volunteer at the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games and shares it with us on the Girls eMentorship Blog. If you have not heard, the 2015 Toronto Games have been vibrantly taking over the city! I was lucky enough to be one of … Read more

Vanessa Mugoa

Toronto Fringe Festival: Vanessa Mugoa’s 1st Volunteer Experience with Fringe

July 20, 2015

GEM’s Creative Writing Intern, Vanessa Mugoa, recently volunteered at the Toronto Fringe Festival. We asked her to share her experience and perspective about the event and why it’s such a great arts and culture event in Toronto. Hello all! I am back with another blog post and this time it is on Toronto’s annual, twelve-day … Read more

Vanessa Mugoa

Design Your Life: How to beat laziness this summer!

July 9, 2015

Two months of no school means no homework to complete, no tests to study for, and no group projects to stress over. However, summer can also be the reason we become lazy. I was worried that I might slip into laziness this summer, so I made a great plan to live my summer to the … Read more

Selina McCallum

Luminato Festival – A Spectacular of Toronto’s Culture and Creativity

July 2, 2015

Vanessa Mugoa is a Creative Writing Intern for GEM. This summer she volunteered at Toronto’s Luminato Festival. GEM asked her to share her volunteer experience and give us a taste of what the festival was like from the inside. During this past week, I had the pleasure of being a part of the Youth Volunteer … Read more

Vanessa Mugoa

Aga Khan Museum – the Pretty White Treasure Box

June 16, 2015

Our GEMgirl and Creative Writing Intern, Mishal Dar, visited the Aga Khan Museum last month. We asked her to write about her experience so we could share it with all of our GEM supporters, hoping to inspire others to visit. Her stunning experience is captured here. Approaching the Aga Khan Museum at its main entrance … Read more

Mishal Dar

It’s a wrap!

June 12, 2015

Although it was cloudy and raining heavily in the afternoon of June 5th, all GEMgirls were smiling brightly inside the Aga Khan Museum for GEM’s Wrap Up Party. Rain was not going to be the reason a fantastic picnic for mentees, mentors, GEM staff and supporters didn’t happen, and so it was moved inside. The … Read more

Selina McCallum

Impact of GEM on my life

June 9, 2015

The Girls e-Mentorship program has had an incredible impact on my life. From a very young age I knew I wanted to be a writer but I did not understand how to get there or how successful I could be. The GEM program gave me the opportunity, not once but twice, to meet successful women … Read more

Selina McCallum


June 4, 2015

I think back to October, and the beginning of this amazing ride, and I remember a different girl. That girl was unsure of herself and she had no idea what the future would hold. I still don’t know what the future holds but GEM has left an impact on my life like nothing else. The … Read more

Mishal Dar

Career Chat: Inside Finance

June 2, 2015

GEM girls visited a leading global investment office, Burgundy Asset Management, on Friday, May 1st, 2015. Burgundy Asset Management is located on the 45th floor of the Bay Wellington Tower. The GEMgirls were in awe as they looked out the tall, glass windows to see downtown from high above. Roz McLean, an Associate at Burgundy … Read more

Selina McCallum

Career Skills Workshop: Dress to Impress

May 28, 2015

GEMgirls attended a career skills workshop on Friday, May 22nd, 2015 at the Aga Khan Museum to learn how to dress your best for interviews. Marlo Sutton and Caroline Young, who are experts in the fashion industry, were our presenters. Sutton is a personal stylist who worked in the fashion industry in Paris for 13 … Read more

Selina McCallum

Business Etiquette for Youth

May 25, 2015

By: Lisa Orr, Etiquette & Protocol Consultant When you’re first entering the workforce it can be really hard to make the transition. After years of being a student with a casual dress code and laid-back lifestyle the jump into the corporate world can be difficult. It can feel like going from a leisurely stroll to … Read more


Career Chat: Inside Medicine

May 25, 2015

GEMgirls and myself were invited for a coffee chat at the Thrive Medical Clinic. During the coffee chat, GEMgirls had an opportunity to visit a workplace where we could ask questions to the employees about their career and educational paths and get an inside look at what a medical career is like. GEMgirls saw that … Read more

Selina McCallum

GEM Private Film Screening

May 19, 2015

Watermark screened at the TIFF theatre was a breathtaking documentary about the impact of water on our lives. GEMgirls had a very unique opportunity to attend a private screening and meet one of its co-directors, Jennifer Baichwal afterwards. This documentary never told us what to think, where so many others do. Without a single mention … Read more

Mishal Dar

GEM Applications Open

May 15, 2015

Our application season has begun for next year’s mentorship program. Each year we look for ambitious, high-achieving, young women that are interested in realizing their true potential so they can design and achieve their dream life! Last year the GEM program attracted an unprecedented number of applications. We selected 30 of the best and brightest … Read more


Scholarship: Math Foundation Skills with BSS

May 8, 2015

Partnering with the Bishop Strachan School (BSS), we are excited to offer two full scholarships to their Math Foundation Skills Summer Academy program this summer. During the week of August 17-21 from 8:30-2:30pm, two lucky young women will attend BSS for an intensive algebra review that is designed to boost their math skills for the upcoming school year. … Read more


May 2, 2015

What better way to fight the winter blahs than with an art excursion? That is exactly what our GEMgirls and Mentors did in the months of February and March. Channeling their inner Oscar Wilde and interpreting the notion that life imitates art our mentor mentee pairs submitted some creative photos. Here are our top three … Read more


April 17, 2015

Think of your dream job. Now imagine you have entered an elevator only to brush shoulders with the person capable of opening the door to your most coveted career. What would you do if you had only one minute to present yourself, articulate your strengths and stand apart from the crowd? Last month, GEM hosted … Read more


Dare to Compete

March 27, 2015

By: Rochelle de Goias I read Katty Kay and Claire Shipman ‘s book, the New York Times Bestseller The Confidence Code after meeting Katty Kay at a talk in Toronto. The part of this book that struck me the most was a study on US college women and the impact of their preconceived notions about … Read more


Top 5 Activities

March 16, 2015

With the grey clouds of winter behind us, it is the perfect time to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Here are some ideas to inspire your March Break escape: 1. Explore The City Take the chance to check out a new neighbourhood. Grab a friend and take a walk. There is … Read more


March 9, 2015

Are you on top of social media trends on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram? Do you know the best hashtags and who to follow? Is writing your passion? Join our amazing team of interns as a blogger or social media intern. We are looking for girls 16-18yrs old who love to write and share their thoughts … Read more


Me, My Selfie, & I

February 26, 2015

Snap, post, snap, post, snap, post… Sounds like a marching band to me. One fully equipped with cameras and lighting to capture that perfect shot. At a time when online friends number in the hundreds or even thousands and digital thumbs-up are a source of pride, a time when people feel compelled to chronicle every … Read more

Mishal Dar

Haute Nature

February 24, 2015

GEM would like to send out a big thank you to Stephanie De Gasperis, founder of HUSK, for providing our GEMgirls with a wonderful Valentine’s Day giveaway featuring natural beauty products and healthy treats for their special day. Continue reading to learn find about Stephanie’s take on entrepreneurship, natural beauty, and healthy living. Based on … Read more

Selina McCallum

February 15, 2015

On January 31, 2015 GEMgirls were invited to Roots Yoga Studio for a complimentary yoga session. Roots Yoga instructor Charlene Yeh guided GEMgirls through a gentle beginner yoga class, which included interactive partner exercises and guided meditiation. This moment to relax and unwind could not have been offered at a better time. The girls had … Read more


February 14, 2015

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to remind ourselves that love is so much more than romantic love. Love includes affection for friends, family, the community, and last but not least, ourselves. That’s right ladies – don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Treating your body with respect and appreciation is the first step towards loving … Read more


January 29, 2015

By: Natalie Anthony Congratulations. Your exams are over! Hopefully you feel less tight and happier. To close things out for our 5-week yoga series, I’ve saved my favourite poses for last. Say “hi” to your hips! Hips: Tight hips are very common from sitting. Too much tension in this area could even begin to affect … Read more


January 22, 2015

By: Natalie Anthony I hope the poses we’ve explored over the past few weeks have helped you. Feel free to do your favourites as much as you’d like. Up next? A part of the body that’s often overlooked – your wrists. Wrists: Using a computer mouse, writing, and practicing yoga put strain on our wrists. … Read more


January 16, 2015

By: Natalie Anthony Happy Friday. You are two weeks away from freedom. Hang in there! Here are some great yoga poses to release tension in your back and spine. Back and spine: Many of us sit far forward at a desk (I’m doing it now). This leaves little support for your back. Try these stretches … Read more


January 8, 2015

By: Natalie Anthony It’s a new week, and you are still in exam study mode. Now that we’ve targeted the neck, let’s check in with our shoulders. Shoulders: There are several great stretches to release tension in different parts of your shoulders. Raise your right arm along your ear, then bend it behind your head. … Read more


January 1, 2015

By: Natalie Anthony No Mat? No Problem!  I had a secret. As a stressed out student (exams freaked me out!), I used to sneak away from my desk at the library to do yoga in the washroom. My body was tight. I needed a release. It’s exam prep time and I know sitting at a … Read more


December 26, 2014

The year progresses and quite naturally we forget about the New Year’s Resolution made way back in January. Whatever festive spirit willed us to make that commitment then is long gone now, and we wonder when exactly we began to lose interest. It’s funny how often we make New Year’s Resolutions for things that we’d … Read more

Mishal Dar

From Our Hearts to Yours

December 19, 2014

Dear Friends, Advisors, Mentors and Sponsors, What an incredible year! In such a short time, GEM has transitioned from a 3-month pilot project to a full 9-month mentorship program. Each month has brought incredible learning opportunities for our GEMgirls, new partnerships, and new team members. We are so proud of our community and so fortunate … Read more


Calm Down Bootcamp

December 11, 2014

Imagine a boot camp where you are not required to do pushups, run obstacles courses, or even sweat. The Calm Down Boot Camp, founded by Ali Tennen, is just that. What is Calm Down Boot Camp? Calm Down Boot Camps are relaxing, interactive, and inspirational trainings that help students and entrepreneurs with high ambitions, lower … Read more

Selina McCallum

GEM & Mathnasium Partner

December 9, 2014

Children don’t hate math. They hate being confused and intimidated by math. With understanding comes passion. And with passion comes growth—a treasure is unlocked. The Mathnasium method is used globally to teach math skills to students. Their goal is to significantly increase their students’ math skills, their understanding of math concepts, and their overall school … Read more


Follow The Leader

December 5, 2014

By: Anne-Marie Sorrenti Mentorship’s Game Changer is Leadership Coaching Over the past few weeks I have been honoured to work personally with each of our mentees in the magnificent and inspirational atrium of the Aga Khan Museum. Before meeting, the girls completed the Birkman Method® assessment. In our private consultations, we discussed the results generated … Read more



December 1, 2014

Just over three months ago, we launched our 2014/2015 GEM program.  Since then we’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with the oldest girl school in Canada as well as some of the city’s most creative female entrepreneurs.  The best part – every one of our partners saw potential in GEM and are eager to support … Read more


November 28, 2014

Every one of our GEMgirls told us they planned on attending university after high school, but several of our girls also told us they felt anxious and unprepared when it came to applying to university. So, today, we are hosting a University Application Workshop for GEMgirls and girls in the Flemingdon Thorncliffe community. Tanya (Toni) … Read more


Your Daily Dose of Joy

November 26, 2014

What is Joyous Health? Joyous Health means feeling and looking beautiful, having energy for exercise, a positive mental attitude and good digestion. The Joyous Health blog has hundreds of inspiring articles and delicious recipes to teach people that healthy & delicious aren’t mutually exclusive. What advice would you give to someone pursuing a career in nutrition? … Read more

Selina McCallum

Grit Girl

November 23, 2014

“True talent is honed over time, through practice, through perseverance: through grit.” We’ve all known people who seem to get whatever they want so effortlessly – it’s as if they weren’t even trying. They get the grades, the job, the glory, and we are left wondering how on earth we could possibly compete with such … Read more

Mishal Dar

A Conversation with Professor Gilbert

November 14, 2014

“Knowing my own strengths and weaknesses, and accepting them, empowers me like nothing else” What do you do at the University of Toronto? I am an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering. In this role I teach undergraduate and graduate level courses, guide thesis studies and write grants to support our … Read more

Selina McCallum

BSS & GEM Partner

November 7, 2014

A Note from BSS Head of School Deryn Lavell As Canada’s oldest day and boarding school for girls in JK to Grade 12, we have a pretty big network of alumnae around the world. They range from those who’ve just graduated to those who have been carving out an inspiring vocation for decades. It’s through … Read more



October 31, 2014

The GEM 2014/2015 mentorship program is officially underway and we have so much to share with you. GEM101 – Mentee Training Training our mentees at the Aga Khan Museum was a lot of fun! After a quick game of “speed dating” to break the ice, we launched into a program overview and answered questions. GEM … Read more


Behind the Scenes at GEM’s First Workshop

October 30, 2014

STUDY SMARTER Ever find yourself up late at night cramming for a test that you should have started preparing for weeks ago? How about highlighting an entire chapter of a textbook or writing pages and pages of summary notes from your textbook, only to realize that you have just re-written the entire thing? You are … Read more


Q&A with Azi Boloorchi

October 17, 2014

Azi Boloorchi, manager at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Techna Institute, is a fierce leader and an inspiration. My exclusive interview with her explores challenges, mentorship, and what it takes to be successful. How old were you when you came to Canada? I was 17. I moved here during a February snowstorm with my parents … Read more

Selina McCallum

Dear Weakness…Let’s Break Up

October 10, 2014

International Day of the Girl is dedicated to raising awareness of the rights and challenges girls face around the world – such as violence, poverty, discrimination and limited access to education. While girls continue to face many challenges, International Day of the Girl can also be seen as a chance for girls to realize their strength. Recognizing … Read more



October 3, 2014

We have had our hands full at GEM this month as we prepared to launch our 2014/2015 mentorship program. Some of the highlights…. GEMgirls There were over 60 strong applicants and Rebecca and I interviewed 35 girls over the course of two weeks. This year we can only accept 30 girls to participate in the … Read more


Oats & Ivy: Healthy Street Food at its Finest

September 19, 2014

  Toronto has a variety of things to do and see, but most of all I enjoy the variety of things to eat! I love finding new restaurants that offer options I know will provide wholesome fuel for my body. As a pescetarian (someone who eats fish and seafood, but no other animals), it can … Read more



September 12, 2014

According to the World Health Organization, food security exists “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life”. This summer, I had a life changing opportunity to travel to rural India with Me to We. My trip was funded through the Potashcorp Food Security … Read more


Top 5 Reasons To Apply to GEM

September 1, 2014

Now accepting applications for the Class of 2014-2015! GEM has seen a lot of changes since wrapping the pilot. We have expanded to include 30 girls from Flemingdon, Thorncliffe, and Regent Park! We have also extended our program from 3 months to 9 months, providing lots of time with your mentor. GEMgirls asked for more … Read more



September 1, 2014

Two months of relaxing in the sun, working, or doing absolutely nothing is coming to an end. The start of school is here which makes many of us anxious.  Don’t worry – we intend to prepare you for the best first week back and the best year ahead. Whether you are just starting high school, … Read more

Selina McCallum


September 1, 2014

FRANQ GIRL is a digital beauty & lifestyle magazine for girls 14-19. It was created to be a positive place for girls to be heard and seen as they really are. Here is my exclusive interview with the founders Jessica Nicholson and Kristin Grimshaw! How did the FRANQ GIRL Founders meet? KG: Jessica and I … Read more

Selina McCallum

SUMMER JOBS: The good, the bad, and the ugly

September 1, 2014

Most people never forget their first job.  Some may luck out and have an amazing experience but others aren’t as fortunate (hello The Devil Wears Prada). Your first job can be exciting because you are earning your own money. However, it can also be terrifying because you have no idea what to expect. It’s a … Read more

Selina McCallum