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!

Ambar Syed

Fundraising and Engagement Lead
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I love connecting people with awesome causes – there’s nothing better than being a catalyst for people seeking positive change in their communities​ and creating their own legacy of giving to this world. My background degrees in Political Science and Social Work training and post-graduate specialization in Fundraising Management​, along with my experience in the Not-for-Profit sector ranging from local organizations to international development, have helped me along this rewarding career. My faith keeps me grounded, my family keeps me going​, and my ideals keep me soaring. My cat also reminds me that no matter how busy you are, now is the right time to show more love.

Emma Murray

Project & Policy Coordinator
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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!

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.

GEM's Board of Directors

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."

Jenny Seto

"I support GEM because mentorship positively changes lives”.

Pamela Borges

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

Susan Humphrey

“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 help them grow and succeed.”

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.”

Maria Vilshanski

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

Committee Members

HR Committee
  • Ayesha Singh, Co-Chair
  • Salujah Gnanachandran
    Marisa Tuzi
Engagement Committee
  • Jennifer Lockwood, Co-Chair
  • Christine Andrew
  • Yoomi Astley
  • Cameron Bossert
  • Alexandra Folkes
  • Claire Glossop Irani
  • Rebecca Hodge
  • Farah Ismail
  • Deanna Logan
  • Andrea MacDonald
  • Christina Persad
  • Shobana Thaya
  • Annette Warring
  • Susan Wellington
program Committee
  • Barbara Csenge
  • Peggy Doe
  • Gail Graham
  • Shilpa Joshi
  • Kristina Khanduja
  • Anne Maggisano
  • Patricia Thaine
Scholarship Committee
  • Roz McLean, Chair
  • Megan Mah
  • Robyn Ross
  • Rifa Tamanna
  • Kayla Theeuwen
Mentor Network
  • Meaghan Kappel, Co-Chair
  • Wendy Salisko, Co-Chair
  • Jessica Grace Chong
  • Melek De-Wint
  • Asha Gosein
  • Wanda Peteanu
  • Vivian Sadeh

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: ambar@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
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