Who We Are


GEM began in 2012 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 across the GTA and beyond. Over the years, GEM has helped to transform the lives of hundreds of young women to become the next generation of future 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 Co-Chair

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

Wendy Sung-Aad

Executive Director
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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 worse baker. In addition to my family and friends, I am the mother of two turtles whom I adore, Tutu and Oogie.

Rebecca Hazell

Program Lead
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I am an education professional passionate about the design and delivery of experiential and transformative learning opportunities that inspire positive social change. My work experience has included career education and advising for the University' of Toronto's dynamic and diverse student population, and the coordination of a conflict management education program serving over 20,000 graduate students. I hold an M.Ed from the University of Toronto in Adult Education and Community Development and certification in Learning Design. I am a dedicated equity advocate intent on improving women's quality of life in Toronto, particularly those facing persistent and intersecting barriers to education and employment. I am thrilled to join the GEM team as Program Lead and am eager to support Mentees in pursuit of their academic and professional dreams!

Emma Murray

Policy & Project Coordinator
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I am a firm believer in the value of uplifting individuals and communities so that everyone can find success. I have a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Western University with an Honours Specialization in History and Major in Political Science. In the spring of 2021, I received my Master of Public Policy from the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. My academic and professional experience inspired my interest in using evidence-based policy measures to achieve great societal change.

Rowena Wong

Finance Assistant
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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.

Melissa Cortez

Program Placement Student
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I am currently in the Social Service Work program at George Brown and recently graduated from the University of Toronto with a major in Sociology and a double minor in Equity Studies and Buddhist Psychology & Mental Health. My education background combined with my experience as a piano teacher and my years of involvement as an Executive for the Filipino Students’ Association of Toronto has inspired me to focus on education and mental health, particularly with youth and young adults. I look forward to working with GEM on promoting gender-equity while empowering Mentees by reducing intersectional barriers and improving self-esteem and mental health. In my free time, I enjoy swimming and making myself an oat matcha latte!

Cherl Mercado

Communications Placement Student
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I am a currently a student double majoring in Communication, Culture, Information, and Technology (CCIT) and Sociology at the University of Toronto with a Digital Communications Certificate at Sheridan College. I would like to apply my learnings to contribute to my community. I am excited to be part of GEM and I look forward to help mentees in fostering their growth and bolster their leadership skills.

GEM's Board of Directors

Rochelle de goias-jackman

Board Co-Chair
"All young women should have the opportunity to succeed despite where they’ve come from."

Mary Lee

Board Co-Chair
“I would have benefitted from learning from someone I respected.”

Helen Liu

"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.“

Lucia Liscio

"I believe in the power of mentorship and its impact on my community."

Anne-Marie Sorrenti

“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

HR Committee
  • Maria Vilshanski
  • Salujah Gnanachandran
    Marisa Tuzi
communications and fundraising committee
  • Yoomi Astley
  • Alexandra Folkes
  • Claire Glossop Irani
  • Rebecca Hodge
  • Farah Ismail
  • Deanna Logan
  • Andrea MacDonald
  • Christina Persad
  • Shobana Thaya
  • Annette Warring
  • Susan Wellington
program Committee
  • Susan Humphrey
    Barbara Csenge
  • Gail Graham
    Jennifer Armstrong
  • Peggy Doe
  • Shilpa Joshi
  • Kristina Khanduja
  • Anne Maggisano
  • Patricia Thaine
Scholarship Committee
  • Roz McLean, Chair
  • Megan Mah
  • Robyn Ross
  • Rifa Tamanna
  • Kayla Theeuwen
    Alf Goodall
    Allison Rozman
    Elspeth Malcolm
    Colleen Reid
    Natasha Davy
    Christina Almeida
    Jeannette Wiltse
Mentor Network
  • Wendy Salisko, Co-Chair
  • Jessica Grace Chong
  • Christina Kim
  • Melek De-Wint
  • Asha Gosein
  • Wanda Peteanu
  • Vivian Sadeh

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
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