Who We Are


GEM's program began in 2014 with just 22 girls from a single priority neighbourhood in Toronto. Today, GEM’s mentorship program has grown to become a robust and dynamic program with over 260 mentees from across the GTHA. Over the years, GEM has helped to transform the lives of over 700 hundred young women to become the next generation of female leaders.

GEM is founded, led and made up of women who believe every girl deserves equal opportunity to develop professional skills, pursue higher education and build successful career paths.
We are a force of dedicated women committed to youth education, promoting gender-equity and working with diverse communities. In collaboration with our community, partners, and our formidable body of dynamic and passionate volunteers, the GEM community is passionate about building more inclusive societies and advancing inclusive economic growth.

Founder and Chair of the Board

Rochelle de Goias-Jackman

“I founded GEM in 2012 from a vision where I truly believed all young women should have the opportunity to succeed despite where they’ve come from or what barrier they’ve faced. I have since dedicated my time and personal resources to see this become a reality.”

Rochelle is an experienced senior political advisor and consultant, and has private and public sector experience from France, the United Kingdom, Japan and Canada, working with organizations such as The United Nations, Bloomberg, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.

Rochelle has co-authored a peer reviewed study on mentorship and regularly speaks on mentorship, social entrepreneurship and women in leadership. She is heavily involved in philanthropic work, recently co-chairing the National Ballet Gala. She currently sits on the McGill Women, Leadership and Philanthropy Board and donates her time to local and grassroots initiatives. Rochelle holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University and an MA in International Relations from the University of London, she is an active BSS Old Girl and London House Alumnus.

The GEM Team

Shaneela Chowdhury

Program Coordinator
Read More

Janet Gerongco

Program Lead, Mentors
Read More

My mission is to empower young girls and women to be everything they dream to be. With a varied background in marketing & communications, program development, and arts & entertainment, I’m passionate about bringing ideas and people to life by providing spaces for connection, engagement, and self-expression. I love a good brainstorming session, meeting new people, reading or listening to a podcast, and traveling. Nothing beats having dance parties with my growing little daughter and my husband. I’m very excited to be working at GEM and supporting young women on their journey towards reaching their full potential.

Vanessa Henry

Programs and Operations Manager
Read More

I am fueled by a deep passion for enhancing social capital, building community, and dismantling barriers in educational and professional environments. My experience is embedded in a commitment to social justice, pedagogy, political discourse, and education. Mentors have the privilege of using their experience, and wisdom to shape and change lives. I've felt the impact personally and know how vital great mentors are. I am a firm believer that being open-minded, kind, and keeping a positive attitude can open doors to opportunities that steer your life forward. Sharing GEM's mission, I'm here to make sure it keeps lifting up and empowering the next generation of incredible female leaders.

Erika Keys

Program Lead, Mentees
Read More

My goal is to create a more equitable Canada, so everyone can find success and their passion regardless of the barriers they may face. I have a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from McMaster University, specializing in Social Psychology. I have a Master of Applied Health Sciences from Western University. I am enthusiastic, ambitious, and motivated with a passion for Gender Equity. I want to help change the way we do things to make the world more inclusive for everyone. In my free time, you will find me on a hike, trying a new recipe or spending time with my dog. I am thrilled to be joining the GEM team as the Mentee Lead, supporting this phenomenal organization and eager to help the Mentees build their professional skills and achieve their academic and career potential.

Wendy Sung-Aad

Executive Director
Read More

I love meeting new people. I believe that our differences enriches us as individuals, and sparks creativity for society to flourish and prosper. But not everyone is thriving, so I spend my days promoting gender-equity, advancing justice, and creating more inclusive mindsets. I will travel great distances for an exceptional cup of coffee or tea, and can admit that I am likely Canada's worst baker. In addition to my family and friends, I am the mother of two turtles whom I adore, Tutu and Oogie.

Rowena Wong

Finance Assistant
Read More

I graduated with a BSc in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Western Ontario. My passion for nutrition and healthy eating lead me the opportunity to connect with so many different people. I am happy to be part of the GEM team to empower and improve the academic and career opportunities for young girls.

GEM's Board of Directors

Mary Lee

Board Member
“I would have benefitted from learning from someone I respected.”

ashley payette

"I want to bring our skills, time and funds to empower girls to succeed."

joanna agnello

"I support GEM because mentorship positively changes lives”.

jennifer Lockwood

"GEM uniquely offers skills, experience and a network that lifts girls to reach their potential."

Melissa krishna

BOARD MEMBER, fundraising co-CHAIR
"GEM is creating a generation of emboldened and confident women to help them grow and succeed.”

Cameron bossert

BOARD MEMBER, fundraising co-CHAIR
"Focused mentorship works. GEMgirls are our future leaders in a world that needs equity and leadership."

Christine andrew

“GEM significantly enhances young women’s lives through mentorship and opportunities to lead.“

Peggy doe

“GEM sparkles with vitality and hope for a better future for our alumnae.”

Ayesha Singh

“Mentorship at the high school level can make all of the difference in the world.”

Committee Members

Stay tuned for an updated list of the members of GEM's Board committees.

GEM Ambassadors

Mary Ann Yule

ceo of hp canada

Melissa Grelo

Host of 'The Social' and Late Morning Anchor of 'Your Morning'

Rana Florida

CEO of The Creative Class Group

Sabrina Maddeaux

Columnist and On-air commentator

Our Volunteers

GEM volunteers are women leaders representing a broad spectrum of industries, sectors and roles. GEM volunteers lend their skills, share their knowledge, donate their time and care in ensuring GEM continues to provide a meaningful experience for our GEMgirls.

This year, GEM is relying on over 150 women volunteers, including mentors, Board and committee members, advisors and donors to help us accomplish our goals.
GEM would not be able to do the work we do without our volunteers. If you are interested in making an impact, contact: wendy@girlsementorship.com

Contact Us

Questions or inquiries? Email us at info@girlsementorship.com or use the form below.

Centre for Social Innovation (Annex)
Girls E-Mentorship
720 Bathurst St., Suite 204,
Toronto ON, M5S 2R4
Charity No. 837034131RR0001
Thank you! Your message has been sent.
We will contact you within the next business day from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.