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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.

Kayla Buchner

I am a young illustrator and recent Long Beach graduate who has been drawing and sketching since the day I could hold a crayon. I grew up in Northern California. Read more>>

Nakota Garza

I’ve been a visual artist from a very young age. I started painting around 6 years old and oil painting at 16. A couple years later, at 18, I got a tattoo apprenticeship in Nashville. Read more>>

Asha Marie Lorensen

I was a competitive athlete for most of my life and found yoga during a very transformational period. While growing up, yoga was always something I did to help enhance flexibility for whatever sport I was playing at the time. Read more>>

Hellen Pham

By the age of 19, I had already earned my cosmetology license but I knew that I personally had no interest in working with hair. I was, however, interested in makeup application and the notion of enhancing natural features to make others and myself feel more beautiful. Read more>>

Gina Colin

I believe my story is very relatable to a lot of people out there. I was the product of teen parents, born into statistics that predicted a life of poverty and struggle. I lacked guidance as a child and adolescent. I am a survivor of abuse and I was an at-risk youth prior to becoming a teen mom.  Read more>>

Makayla

I have been singing for fun since I was about three years old, I say for fun because when I was younger, I wanted to be a chef and an ice skater. So, singing was just something I liked to do in the car on my way home. I didn’t actually start taking singing seriously until I was about 9 or 10 years old. Read more>>

Toriann Vu

All my life, I knew my future was destined for me to inspire people. I know for a fact, being brought up into this world, everything was put around me for a reason. I was raised around fashion influences like my mom, entrepreneurs with strong morals like my dad. Read more>>

Christine Kennedy

I come from a traditional background so I ended up going to pharmacy school although I truly wanted to be in a creative field. I first received my bachelors in Biology, then took a year off to explore career options. I remember wanting to go to the Fashion Institute of Technology for graduate school. Read more>>

Kailee Walters

A picky eater who didn’t know how — or what — to cook… and who also had a wicked sweet tooth. That’s how my family would describe the before-college version of me. I was a simple eater. Chicken, vegetables, potatoes. Cookies, ice cream, candy. Read more>>

Alexia Usgaard

I always dreamed of being a vet. This dream was my motivation to work hard academically and get my degree in Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley. Shortly before I graduated, I had the “aha” moment that was both scary and also undeniably the truth – I no longer wanted to go to veterinary school. Read more>>

Elyssa (EJ) Jordan

My story begins at an end. The end was the end of my marriage of only a few years. We had a child together and we were living secluded away from both of our families out in Arizona. My now ex-husband’s newfound alcoholism, mental illness, and negativity was destroying my outlook on life. Read more>>

Gina Colin

I believe my story is very relatable to a lot of people out there. I was the product of teen parents, born into statistics that predicted a life of poverty and struggle. I lacked guidance as a child and adolescent. I am a survivor of abuse and I was an at-risk youth prior to becoming a teen mom. Read more>>

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