Who We Are

HerStory

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
wendy@girlsementorship.com
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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
rebecca@girlsementorship.com
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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 a dynamic and diverse student population of over 20,000 graduate students. I hold an M.Ed from the University of Toronto in Adult Education and Community Development. 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.

Kirsten Desabrais

Communications & Events Manager
kirsten@girlsementorship.com
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My name is Kirsten and I am the Communications and Events Manager for Girls E-Mentorship. My job is to bring our program impact to life through meaningful storytelling. I’ve dedicated my career to working for social causes I care about and have spent the last 5 years working at various non-profits including Doctors Without Borders and Girls Inc. in New York City. If you have an inquiry about GEM’s social media, marketing, enrichment opportunities or third-party events, reach out to me!

Emma Murray

Project Associate
emma@girlsementorship.com
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My name is Emma and I am the Project Associate for Girls E-Mentorship! My work will ensure that GEM’s programming runs smoothly for each mentor and mentee and provide support to the GEM team as needed. My experiences with diverse communities and public policy have made me a fierce advocate of using evidence-based policy measures to uplift all individuals in society. I am also a passionate sports fan and cat mom!

Kelly Nguyen

Graphic Designer
kelly@girlsementorship.com
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Hey there! I’m Kelly and I am the graphic designer and program coordinator for GEM. When I graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design in 2017, I was asked, “what is your dream?”. I answered that I wanted to use design and technology to create something that would help better a person’s life. And that’s why I’m here - I truly believe in the work that GEM does!

GEM's Board of Directors

Mary Lee

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

Helen Liu

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

Jenny Seto

Treasurer
"I support GEM because mentorship positively changes lives”.

Pamela Borges

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

Susan Humphrey

BOARD MEMBER, MENTEE CHAIR
“GEM significantly enhances young women’s lives through mentorship and opportunities to lead.“

Melissa Krishna

BOARD MEMBER, FUNDRAISING CHAIR
"GEM is creating a generation of emboldened and confident women to grow and succeed.”

Lucia Liscio

BOARD MEMBER, MENTOR CO-CHAIR
"I believe in the power of mentorship and its impact on my community."

Anne-Marie Sorrenti

BOARD MEMBER, MENTOR CO-CHAIR
“GEM sparkles with vitality and hope for a better future for our alumnae.”

Maria Vilshanski

BOARD MEMBER, HR CHAIR
“Mentorship at the high school level can make all of the difference in the world.”

GEM Ambassadors

Melissa Grelo

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

Rana Florida

CEO of The Creative Class Group

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
416-744-8137
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