There is something very powerful when women of all ages come together to share their experiences in a safe space.
More than 100 women from across Toronto gathered together to celebrate the women’s achievements at the fifth annual Journeys to Success event on Saturday, November 25.
This year’s theme was “elevate,” a topic that focused on uplifting women to overcome barriers and have honest conversations about financial literacy.
“Events like these help women hear the stories about how other women are able to carve their path to success, as well as receive practical tips on how to move forward financially,” said Nadia Gouveia, Manager Economic Development and Resident Employment.
Keynote speaker, Michelle Lochan, owner of Marketstart and a domestic abuse survivor, kicked off the event with a powerful, intimate story about elevating yourself against all odds.
“Once you get to the brink and think all is lost, take a step back, listen to your intuition, and know you have a full destiny in front of you,” said Michelle. “You will see and become who you were meant to be.”
Above: Keynote speaker Michelle Lochan speaks to a group of women about supports and resources in Toronto.
When Michelle decided to start her own business and fight for her independence, she initially did not receive support and approval from loved ones and had to face this journey alone. In spite of it all, she pursued her passion of entrepreneurship and enrolled in a Microskills program that focused on developing her business skills.
“I encourage all women to take advantage of the supports and resources that are available in the city,” said Michelle.
Over the course of the afternoon, attendees also heard from three women who shared their success stories in financial freedom and provided financial literacy tips.
“It is about where you want to put your money and how you spend your money. You have to be willing to put a little bit of money aside for yourself, your endeavours and dreams,” said Leisa Washington of Camda Sports.
Munzungu Nzeyedio, founder of Africity pages shared how she found financial success through Toronto Community Housing’s Be.Build.Brand program.
Above: Discussion Panelists (left to right) Wendy DeSouza, Leisa Washington, Munzungu Nzeyedio and Harpreet Gill share their thoughts on financial literacy.
“I thought by going through this program, maybe I can build my own business, maybe I can take a leap of faith and begin the process of owning something that is my creation, said Munzungu. “It took a lot of personal sacrifice because I had to challenge myself and go beyond what I know.”
The discussion panel also emphasized the importance of surrounding oneself with positive people who will empower you.
“Surround yourself with people who believe in you, who want to see you succeed,” said Harpreet Gill. “In the past few years, I have met more people who want to see me do well and are pushing me to do well compared to the people who have been in my life for decades. They give me power, inspiration and hope.”
Throughout this event, connections were made and women shared their ideas on how they can elevate financially. The consensus in the room was through perseverance, resiliency and strength they too can find their journey of elevation and success.