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Orange County Trailblazers

The editorial team has a special attachment to our new series, The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative, because so many of us feel that media portrayals of women have been too one dimensional. Today, women are doing incredible things in all fields – from science and technology to finance, law, business, athletics and more.  With the Trailblazers series, we hope to highlight and celebrate female role models, encourage more equal and just representation in the media, and help foster a more tight-knit community locally helping women find mentors, business partners, friends and more.

Below, you’ll find some incredible trailblazers from in and around Orange County that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Nicolette Ray

I was a sophomore in college when I decided to blow up my life. Up to that point, I played by the rules. I studied the right things, played sports, got straight As, and… I hated my life. I had built an identity around what I thought other people wanted from me instead of honoring my true self-expression. Read more>>

Kim Rounsefell

I grew up in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, Australia and finished high-school early in year 11. I was rebellious and keen to get out and find my independence by moving closer to the inner-city to experience life. Starting as an office assistant, my career grew as I developed skills in computer programming. Read more>>

Kiana Hanaoka

I never really cared about what I was putting into my body when I was in highschool- Del Taco classic tacos with a side of sweet tea and a chocolate dipped cone from McDonalds usually did the trick. It wasn’t until college that I became more aware of what I was putting into my body. Read more>>

Patrina Haupt

My career did not start as a hair care business owner; I’m actually a trained Public Health Researcher. I studied health disparities in under-served communities and worked to reduce the rate of comorbidities within the population. Read more>>

Lara Wilson

I was born in Michigan, and I grew up dancing pretty seriously from the age of 12. Dance taught me loyalty and self-control, but it gave me a very raw high that kept me out of trouble. I was a nerd, but by the end of high school, I couldn’t imagine giving up dance. Read more>>

Norma Simmons

It all began with a list of the restaurants I wanted to visit in LA. The list turned into a personal diary about all the food places I had been. The diary turned into a food blog. Then I converted a personal Instagram account to a food account to help drive followers to my blog. Read more>>

Jules kenNERDdy

My name is Jules and I am originally from Philadelphia. I moved to San Diego almost a decade ago now! I moved here to escape a very horrible life – I am a survivor of sexual, physical and verbal abuse and had to leave my blood family for my own safety. Read more>>

Sarem Berhanu

I was born in Los Angeles, CA but raised in Sacramento, CA majority of my life. I moved to Long Beach almost 5 years ago to attend CSULB and study Journalism/Public Relations. Shortly after graduating I was hired as an associate at a PR agency in Long Beach then moved around a bit. Read more>>

Timmie Brann

Right out of college, I did the safe thing and got a job right outside the big city of San Francisco. I made good money for my early 20s, took the Bart to work daily, and checked all the right boxes. I was miserable. Read more>>

Erica Curtis

My story is about following your heart, even when you don’t quite know where it will lead. At the beginning of my story, I never thought I’d become a therapist. Today, I wouldn’t dream of doing anything else. Read more>>

Erice McNeff

In a romanticized way, you can say floral design found me at a time I needed it most. The more down to earth telling is that I got lucky in finding something I happen to love. I graduated from college in 2014 with a degree in a field that I quickly realized I didn’t want to pursue a career in. Read more>>

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