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I have been blessed to experience a  lot of growth in all different areas of my life over the past 3 years, but to say it this was something I accomplished all on my own would be far from truthful. The truth is that I have been able to benefit from inspiration and support in many different forms from a number of phenomenal women, though I only “know” most of them through social media.

Time and again I have witnessed these women pouring so much of themselves and their knowledge into others (myself included) and in honor of International Women’s Day 2016, I want to ensure that they are told just how much they are appreciated, and also celebrate them for being positively impactful on my life.

The 12 Phenomenal Women:

yaneek page

Yaneek Page – Social Entrepreneur, Business Trainer & Writer

Yaneek, via her TV show The Innovators, was the inspiration behind one of my earlier attempts at self-employment in 2013. The idea I had at the time unfortunately didn’t get too far, but was the beginning in a chain of events that led to me finally fulfilling what has been a lifelong ambition, and I will be celebrating my second year as a full-time entrepreneur at the end of this month!

Yaneek, I celebrate you for being the face of and championing the entrepreneurial cause in Jamaica.

Ingrid Riley – Entrepreneur, Start-Up Mentor, Tech Evangelist

This woman defines badassery! For many years, before I ever knew tech’ was a ‘thing’, Ingrid has been pioneering the tech entrepreneurial revolution in Jamaica and throughout the region via ConnectiMass, Kingston Beta and her other platforms.

Having attended Kingston Beta a few times myself, I have been able to benefit tremendously from some of the invaluable connections and friendships I’ve formed. Ingrid, I celebrate your badassery and the profound impact you’ve had on the many young entrepreneurs who look to you for mentorship.

Dr. Terri-Karelle Reid – Brand Manager, Media Personality

Where, oh where, does Terri get her energy from?! As strongly I believe in myself and capabilities, I seriously doubt I would be able to keep up with her for very long. I am in love with her fun, charming spirit, and the fact that she is the ultimate professional – building brands, hosting events and TV shows, and doing it all while at the forefront, raising a strong little girl.

Not to mention she does it all with the widest, most pleasant of smiles. Terri, I celebrate your zest, love for life and warm energy. You are an amazing, gorgeous woman.

Sherry Perrier – Entrepreneur, Advocate, Financial Planning Analyst

Prior to Sherry, I can’t say I was accustomed to seeing young women like myself being represented on TV outside of entertainment, and especially of all things, in finance. Watching her “being the change’ and leading as an example of what was possible for young women has definitely been a great source of motivation for me.

We met finally at the FWTW Gathering last year and listening to her briefly share her story about some of the challenges she has had to grow through and overcome was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Sherry, I have long been an admirer and I celebrate your resilience and triumph.

Emprezz Golding – Entrepreneur, Youth Advocate, Media Personality

Children are often taught to be seen and not heard, but not anymore. Not since Emprezz has lent her voice to make sure youths can now ‘talk up!‘ I have watched her Talk Up Yout’ programme for many years and admire her for finally giving a voice to the voiceless, as well as for humanizing the under-represented and marginalized among us.

Her personality is also quite refreshingly eccentric! Emprezz, I celebrate your love for people and your country, and for using your voice to uplift and encourage.

Nicole McLaren-Campbell – Entrepreneur, Educator, Professional Speaker

Who doesn’t just adore Nicole and her family? And in addition to being a mommy mogul, she’s a BOSS in every sense of the word. I was also able to meet her at the FWTW Gathering last year and her energy and zeal were amazing! She speaks boldly, firmly and passionately. When I think of Nicole, I think about tough love and a guiding hand.

She is simply phenomenal in all aspects. Nicole, words aren’t enough to suffice my admiration. I simply celebrate you.

Kemesha Kelly – Youth Development Practitioner, Social Advocate

Passion, boldness and fervency! These are exactly what Kemesha embodies in my eyes. She is one of my ultimate social media crushes and I was quite happy to have had the pleasure of meeting her last year at the FWTW Gathering.  I could sense that although she has the personality and charm of a sweetheart, she also has the spirit of a fighter. She speaks so boldly and passionately, you can’t not pay attention.

Kemesha, I celebrate your grace, your courage in sharing your truth, and I thank you for using your voice to give other women like myself the strength to share our truths as well.

Carey-Lee Dixon – Geospatial Professional, Supporter & Empowerer

I recently told Carey, that everyone deserves to have a friend like her, because she truly is a solid support system. I’ve been a fan of her platform, For Women to Women, for the better part of 3 years before ever knowing who the face and personality behind the brand was (or that it was a Jamaican woman!). I am continuously amazed at how selflessly and endlessly Carey supports other women.

I had the pleasure of spending time in her company last year at the FWTW Gathering which she hosted, and the energy and authenticity was unreal! Carey, I celebrate you for so selflessly celebrating and supporting other women.

Tonya Rapley-Flash – Entrepreneur, Certified Financial Educator

It shouldn’t come as much surprise that I draw inspiration from a woman who works in the same field that I do. Tonya has been my ultimate inspiration in the personal finance space through her brand, My Fab Finance. Having wanted to do for a long time what I am finally doing now, I am thankful to Tonya for being one of the women who continue to pave the way so others like myself can make our own paths.

And what’s even more amazing about this woman is not just her current accomplishments, but knowing her story and what she has had to overcome. Tonya, I celebrate your courage and for sharing your voice in a much needed space.

Krystal Tomlinson – Public Relations Manager, Media Personality

Krystal is that wholesome, vibrant, soulful woman you, your parents, and just about everyone else loves. No surprise she and Kemesha are close friends, as she also has the passionate spirit of a fighter. I have been watching and cheering Krystal on from the social media sideline for years and have always strongly admired her.

When she launched her Five Dollar Forum in late 2015, I was beyond happy to lend my support to the cause and am thankful she allowed me the opportunity to. Krystal, I celebrate your wholesomeness, enlightened positivity, and admire what you represent for young women.

Karen A. Lloyd – Project Manager, Social Justice Advocate

Karen and I have become very close friends since first “meeting” on Twitter a few years ago and it has been a honor to witness her growth and experience her love and support, especially in my many different business ventures over the years.

Sharing a friendship with someone who so boldly embodies all that is #BlackGirlMagic is more than a privilege, and I am thankful everyday for our bond. Karen, you are the big sister I’ve always wanted and I’m thankful to call you that – my sister.

Dr. Shawn Bridley – Doctor of Pharmacy, Author, Multiple Business Owner

Shawn is my ultimate girl crush and mentor! If you don’t know how much I love and respect this woman, you probably don’t know me any at all. Though we’re yet to meet in-person, this woman has had such a profound impact on my life’s trajectory, a few sentences aren’t enough to quantify.

Since connecting with Shawn on social media about 3 years ago, she has been an instrumental part of my personal advisory board, personal development, and was unknowingly the person who helped me gather the courage I needed to take a chance on myself 2 years ago and walk my purposed path. Shawn, I am proud to call you friend. I celebrate, love and thank you for your authenticity and wisdom.