women spotlight

    Vivian Tan: Navigating Life’s Storms

    Brief Introduction
    Vivian Tan is a social entrepreneur and a public speaker who helps aspiring young individuals create a personalized "drink" for wellbeing and success through her creative and meaningful content.

    Brilliant Achievements
    * Impacted over 15,000+ people through content creation & public speaking
    * Founder of YOUth of BC (Founded in May 2019; Over 2000 followers on Instagram, 1500 Facebook Group members)
    * Suicide survivor & mental health advocate, diagnosed with ADHD
    * Public Speaker (25+ speaking engagements, 4x TEDx speaker)

    The Beginning Of YOUth Of BC
    Back in grade nine when she had to choose her future courses, she felt unprepared and lost because it was overwhelming to make the right choice. One single misstep could greatly impact her future path. When she asked her classmates, she noticed that everyone felt the same as well, which made her realize that there was a problem with the current education system. Within her community, she found like-minded individuals who were able to assist her in broadening her plans in building an organization. Thus, she decided to start YOUth of BC to provide a solution to support students to chase their aspirations.

    Overcoming Obstacles
    One obstacle that she faced was when her confidence to present herself as an empowered leader greatly dwindled, which hindered her ability to take the initiative to transition to a non-profit organization. Her journey towards success started when she started her organization as a social media platform while gathering excellent team members before applying as a non-profit initiative. Fortunately, she was able to gradually overcome her fears by accepting that it’s okay to make mistakes as a leader since not everyone is perfect. She learned that making mistakes is the journey for an entrepreneur to become successful.

    The Importance Of Public Speaking
    According to Vivian, public speaking is imperative not just when you're speaking to a group of talented individuals but also in everyday life because when you speak, you communicate. Through skillful public speaking, you are able to communicate your ideas and opinions clearly and organize your thoughts logically. Public speaking is also an important soft skill that people would love to see in a resume, and may provide one with a higher chance of being hired by prestigious businesses. Lastly, this skill allows you to have better relationships with your friends and your family, thus improving your confidence.

    Providing Advice
    One major piece of advice that she would give to those aspiring to become a public speaker is to have a strong mindset. According to Vivian, mindset determines how confident you are as a speaker and how you can combat stage fright or mistakes. When you don't have a strong mindset, your confidence can be negatively impacted when you make mistakes or experience failures. One way to develop this mentality is to catch those negative thoughts and say, “ I'm feeling nervous right now but I can do this. It's okay to make mistakes.” After that, you can feel more confident in yourself and start priming your mindset towards being a confident public speaker.

    Passion And Advocacies
    Vivian is extremely passionate about helping others find their own success, through her assistance, whether it be personal development, professional development, public speaking, or improving their mental well-being.

    One of her advocacies is to stand up for herself whenever possible, and to ensure that her voice is being heard and listened to. According to Vivian, this is vital because if you do not advocate for yourself then other people can take easily manipulate or take advantage of you, which may prevent you from confidently representing yourself to become the person you want to be. Aside from that, she also likes to advocate for finding success and improving mental well-being because she believes that these can help you feel fulfilled in life and help you find your purpose. Most of the time, these aspects in life are overlooked because everyone is constantly busy having others define their worth, which is definitely not the right path towards chasing success.

    Becoming A Changemaker
    Problems are everywhere no matter where you look and no matter where you go. And when you look deeper and when you think critically, you see that some problems are far from being addressed. If you're inspired to fix that problem that you see, then you can start taking action within the community to become a changemaker. In Vivian’s case, the problem she saw was within the education system. Even though school is supposed to educate students to face their future lives, she believes school does not adequately provide individuals with the skills, support, and tools necessary to help them succeed in their careers after high school. Because of her frustration with feeling lost and unprepared, along with other peers, she felt inspired to create an organization to combat this problem and better society.

    The motivation behind why she still continues to aspire to become a changemaker is that she can see the impact that she creates with other people in a butterfly effect. Even if it's a small act of change, it can consequently portray an impact that can influence other people to do the same. Furthermore, her experiences and the inspiration she derives from other changemakers motivated her to take action within her community.

    Personal And Professional Goals In 2021
    -- Social: Maintain and strengthen relationships, while expanding her personal network to form a community.
    -- Financial: Start learning financial literacy to achieve financial freedom and not worry about money.
    -- Health and fitness: Exercise at least 30 minutes a day and try meditation for 5 minutes a day to improve wellbeing.
    -- Career: Kickstart her personal branding and map out the career path.
    -- Life vision: Reflect on her mission and values, and create the person she wants to be five years from now.
    -- Spiritual: Find at least 5 things in life that she wants to live for
    -- Character: Advocate more proactively to gain self-confidence
    -- Parenting: Help her parents improve their parenting skills, and learn how to become a good mentor and parent in the future.
    -- Love: Envision the ideal relationship with her significant other and educate herself on what makes a healthy relationship.
    -- Intellectual: To form and maintain a routine for lifelong learning and self-improvement for not just school, but in life as well.
    -- Quality of life: Tidy up and maintain the ideal workspace every 2 weeks for a good quality of life.
    -- Emotional: Try cognitive behavioral therapy to combat negative thoughts, anxiety, and insecurities.

    Resources To Recommend

    1. CMANXT will help you get the transferable skills you need to succeed in your professional career.
    2. The League of Innovators has a free course and accelerator to help you start your initiative, whether it be a business or nonprofit.
    3. Speech Dojo offers public speaking skills accessible to every student with their resources and free course.
    4. Samdemma is a self-leadership program to gain clarity, create structure, organize your life, and reach your goals.
    5. Wear Eflik is a platform & community connecting female leaders and students across the world via meaningful apprenticeships.
    6. Acadium helps you find an apprenticeship and get the mentorship, experience, and connections you need to start your digital marketing career.

    Contact Information
    1. Website
    2. Instagram
    3. LinkedIn

    Final Words
    “Life feels like an ocean. You can't seem to know everything, and you can easily get lost in its depths. You can only see so far into it, as the truth cannot shine on everything. You may feel that there's no direction because there is no set path on where you can go. It can suddenly change before your eyes every day. There are many monsters hidden in the darkness, waiting to drag you down to consume you. However,there are also many secret treasures, a magical, marvelous, and mysterious world you will enjoy.

    You are the boat. Push through, and it will make way for you. Become who you are, and be happy with it, no matter what others say. No one can steer your boat. Steer it in the right direction, and you will discover your purpose and your treasure.”

    - Vivian Tan

    Web-Dev 101 Seminar with Claire Filipek

    In partnership with Command Tech, Big Sister hosted a three part website development seminar that covered the basics of HTML, CSS, and Bootstrap. By the end, all participants have the skills to build their very own website that highlights women or non-binary individuals that they want to uplift. Below are recordings of all three sessions, enjoy!

    Krisha Khandelwal: Never Give Up

    Brief Introduction
    Krisha Khandelwal, a rising high school sophomore, is the founder & executive director of Let’s Defeat Bullying - an international nonprofit that aims to spread awareness against bullying and encourages children to seek help. In her free time, Krisha enjoys volunteering, reading fiction, and writing book reviews.

    Brilliant Achievements
    * International Level Chess Layer
    * Indian Classical Singer
    * Entrepreneur
    * Social Worker
    * Blogger & Writer

    The Beginning of Let’s Defeat Bullying
    In 6th grade, Krisha was heavily bullied by her then-best friends. At first, she didn’t realize it - she felt her best friends were teasing her. However, when the bullying escalated, she informed her parents & teachers about it. That proved to be a pivotal moment as she no longer got bullied. However, she began to notice that many people who did get bullied, didn't ask for help. Instead, they silently sat and suffered. This inspired her to start Let’s Defeat Bullying, as she aims to educate others & spread awareness about bullying while providing help to victims.

    Overcoming Obstacles
    Krisha’s journey, like many others, has not been smooth. It has been filled with challenges. The toughest she claims is getting people to take her work seriously - a hindrance because she is still a rising high school sophomore. “A lot of people assume that I’m too young to be creating an impact”. She claims that as ambitious young women, there will be several people along the way that try to hinder your mission/goal. The advice she gives to others is to never give up, persevere, and just remember why you are doing this.

    The Importance of Speaking up Against Bullying
    According to Krisha, speaking up against bullying is SO important because not doing so will encourage others to continue. Without strict action taken against bullies, others may not think about the consequences of bullying before doing so. It’s important to remember that bullying can play a detrimental effect on mental health, eating disorders, disturbed sleep cycles, panic attacks, & anxiety.

    Providing Advice
    Ask for Help! According to Krisha, no victim of bullying deserves to be bullied, and asking for help is the easiest way to put an end to it immediately. Many victims have voiced their fears to speak up against bullying, as they believe it will escalate the situation instead of mitigating it, which is false. Krisha says, "If you don’t inform people whom you trust that you are being bullied, and if you don’t seek help, then no one will know what you’re going through."
    **If you ever need some advice or someone to talk to, feel free to reach out to Big Sister or Let’s Defeat Bullying. You got this!! :)

    Passion And Advocacies
    Krisha is very passionate about providing underprivileged children with equal opportunities. This has led her to co-found Project Injoy: a nonprofit that encourages creativity by teaching Indian Classical Music and critical thinking skills through chess to underprivileged children with her sister. Project Injoy conducts weekly sessions across schools in India on mental health awareness & the importance of education (hoping to expand to other parts of the world)! According to Krisha, her biggest accomplishment is starting Let’s Defeat Bullying. When she first started Let’s Defeat Bullying, she thought of it as a small blog and never imagined that it would impact people's lives & help make the world a better place!

    Becoming A Changemaker
    Krisha has always wanted to inspire, empower, and positively influence others. This year, she aims to expand Let’s Defeat Bullying by partnering with more schools, helping more victims, reaching a larger audience, and starting Let’s Defeat Bullying chapters! Krisha is a staunch believer that failure/rejection is redirection. She likes to believe that failure is a part of the process, and when you stumble across it, you just have to try harder and push through. The key is to never give up.

    Contact Information

    1. Let’s Defeat Bullying’s Official Website has a lot of resources on bullying. We also have a FAQs page with relevant questions that are professionally answered.
    2. Twitter
    5. LinkedIn
    6. Youtube
    7. Tiktok

    Contact Krisha (@krisha.khandelwal)
    1. Twitter
    2. LinkedIn

    Written by Ananya Gollakota