Meet the 10 Young Women Changing the World

10 Young Women Changing the World

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We are proud to recognize the following exceptional young women who are under the age of 35, exude a commitment to faith values and service and who embody an entrepreneurial spirit. Join us in congratulating these amazing award recipients!

web Audra Miller

Audra Miller - San Francisco, CA

Audra Miller is the Project Associate for Delivering Innovation in Supportive Housing, SF. She received her B.A from Bethel College. In 2009, Audra became founder of Miller Studios, a commercial photography business. After graduating, she dedicated two years to Mennonite Voluntary Service, where she initiated the Everyone Deserves a Home project, a large scale public portrait series of formerly homeless San Franciscans. In addition to non-profit work, Audra is a freelance designer and competes in an ultimate frisbee league. She recently created The Gender Project, focused on gender as a social construct, and began UpDate, a start-up providing eye-catching photos for online dating profiles. Audra currently resides in San Francisco. 

 web Carissa Rempel

 

Carissa Rempel - Arborg, MB

Carissa Rempel, of Arborg, Manitoba, is married to her college sweetheart, Ernest Rempel. Together they have two beautiful children who are the loves of her life, Alliana and Elijah. An artist and philanthropist currently working towards opening an Arts Center in her hometown, Carissa loves the arts, yoga, running, and inspiring stories. Carissa opened a youth drop in Center called The Bridge in Arborg in 2011. In 2013, after recovering from a major surgery and illness, she changed directions and pursued her education in psychology. During that time she also helped her daughter pursue her philanthropic passions and start Battle The Bad With Beauty, a project which sells Alliana and Elijah's art and donates the money to various charities. The children have raised over $2,000 to date for charities such as the Malala Fund. In the past year Carissa has been involved in a community group helping to bring a refugee family to the community and has become a tutor for the family. Her current project of an Arts Center came about because after years of struggling with a chronic illness as well as a battle with anxiety she found that the arts offer incredible opportunity for healing and connecting. Carissa tries to live by this quote from Desmond Tutu, "Do your little bit of good where you are; It is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." 

 

 web Ishita Aggarwal

Ishita Aggarwal - Toronto, ON

Ishita Aggarwal is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto and has an interest in Gender Equality and Social Sustainability, the least understood and discussed pillar of Sustainable Development. She has served as Access and Equity Student Blogger at U of T Student Life Blog, Founding Member of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) National Conference, and Research Associate at International Women's Rights Project. In December 2015, Ishita founded BEHIND-THE-SCENES-Magazine (B-T-S), an E-Zine that aims to shed light on unseen & under-reported gender-based macro- and micro-aggressions in society. B-T-S accepts and anonymously publishes prose, poetry, art and photography that details an individual's lived experiences with gender prejudice and discrimination. Through her work, she hopes to give voice to those who often go unheard and use the power of storytelling to inspire reflection and encourage action. 

 

 web Janae Dagen

 Janae Dagen - Lancaster, PA

 Janae co-founded and currently operates The Speckled Hen, a unique coffee shop that aims to create a safe and comfortable space to work and relax. She is dedicated to sharing Christ’s love through her business and by building partnerships with other local businesses. In addition, she invests in her staff at the café as future leaders. 

 web Kelly Shenk Koontz

Kelly Shenk Koontz - Boston, MA

Kelly Shenk Koontz is an Associate with Isaacson, Miller, an executive search firm based in Boston that works with nonprofit organizations. In May 2016, Kelly graduated from Boston University with an MBA in public and nonprofit management. Prior to attending BU, she worked for three years with Mennonite Central Committee in Kabul, Afghanistan, where she was a Peacebuilding Project Manager, a role that involved a variety of responsibilities, including the development of a conflict transformation course for women with limited financial and educational resources. Before her role with MCC, she spent time working in human resources with PowerMyLearning and as a Program Assistant with World Vision International in New York City. Kelly received her BA in history from Goshen College.

 web Leena Miller Cressman

Leena Miller Cressman - Kitchener, ON

Leena Miller Cressman is the owner and director of Queen Street Yoga (QSY) in Kitchener, Ontario. Leena began teaching yoga in 2008 while also finishing her degree in Cultural Anthropology at University of Waterloo and Conrad Grebel College. She stepped into leadership of QSY in 2012. QSY is known in Kitchener-Waterloo for its practical, accessible and community-oriented approach to yoga and meditation. As a business owner concerned about social justice and inclusion, Leena has facilitated special programming to bring benefits of yoga out into the wider community and also invite the yoga community to engage with broader social-justice issues. A few of these unique projects include hosting Community Conversations about Climate Change, a Bearing Witness Day to a local First Nations residential school, free summer Yoga in the Park, and yoga with social services organizations and in workplaces. 

 web Mary Fehr

Mary Fehr - Sarasota, FL

"Life for me is a never ending adventure.  I’m always looking for the next opportunity or the next chance to make a difference.  I believe in the power of people and the difference we can make and I choose to live my life making a difference every day.  I graduated from Nichols College in 2013 with a degree in Marketing and Business Communications which led me to an unforgettable opportunity to work as an impact assessment intern with MEDA in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  I connected with some beautiful people who believed in me and encouraged me to join Sarah French on a bike trip across Canada the summer of 2015.  Certainly one of the most influential summers, full of memories and challenges but together we worked to raise over $300,000 for MEDA’s GROW project in Ghana.  All across Canada and through every step of the way, I was inspired through each smile we encountered.  Continuing with my journey in life, when Jim and Linse Miller asked me to join them in Sarasota, FL to work for JMX Brands, I took a chance.  My life has been full of adventures and memories that have led me to some absolutely incredible people and I can’t wait for the next one to come along." 

 web Melisa Baez

Melisa Baez - Lancaster, PA

As an alumnae of Temple University, Melisa knew her passion was in community relations and social impact. With every opportunity that was presented to her, she continued to build upon her skills. Joining the Children Deserve a Chance Foundation (CDCF) in 2011 became a remarkable opportunity for her that unveiled what would become her life passion. As the director of programs for this non-profit in Lancaster, PA, her focus was to motivate and guide at-risk youth on a path toward attaining a degree of higher education, and leave a legacy in their community. Her role developed into a high impact position as the co-founder of the college prep program, Attollo. As the Women's Business Center Director at ASSETS, Melisa works with over 160 female entrepreneurs assisting them with developing and growing their businesses. Beyond her experience with ASSETS and Children Deserve a Chance Foundation, she continues to expand her knowledge in social change by speaking at the local schools about personal leadership through the What In The World program. Melisa is also a recipient of the Cordes Fellowship, serves as Vice Curator of Global Shapers (Lancaster, PA hub), and sits on the Board of Directors for the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce. 

 web Salima Jaffer

Salima Jaffer - Toronto, ON

Salima’s passion for education and community development was first piqued when she was freshly out of university and had the opportunity to teach high school science in Tanzania. From that point onwards, she sought experiences that would broaden her international horizons – this included contributing to early childhood education in Uganda and health professional education in Zambia.
From her home base of Toronto, Salima had the opportunity to work on youth development and livelihood projects in war-torn Sudan and South Sudan, as well as implement a national initiative in Canada that provided Aboriginal entrepreneurs with the resources to grow their businesses.
In her spare time, Salima loves to discover new nooks in and around Toronto, recently visiting Point Pelee, the southernmost point in Canada. At 5’2” she is asserting her size by learning to box at a women’s boxing gym. She is also a member of Ontario’s Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award Holder’s Association and the Manager of Learning Centres for children in her community.

web Kate Showalter Stoltzfus

 Kate Showalter Stoltzfus - Pittsburgh, PA

Kate is graduate of Goshen College and currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA. She's an alumna of the Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience program and served on their board for many years. She's also co-founder of Propelle, an organization that helps women entrepreneurs take flight through networking events, workshops, masterminds and individual coaching. When she's not growing support and resources for women in business, she spends her time renovating an old house, hosting clothing swaps, listening to vintage vinyl, managing three Airbnbs, taking road trips with her husband Nik, and snuggling with her cat Sgt. Pepper.