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Trailblazers in East LA

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 Trailblazersseries, 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 East LA that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Alison Segel

A few years ago, I moved into a new apartment and was lazy about setting up the wifi and cable, so I lived without TV and Internet for a few weeks. In that time, I started drawing in my spare time instead of refreshing 15 different screens at once. Read more>>

Shanelle Sherlin

The Arts District? Koreatown? Boyle Heights? What were these areas I had never even heard of? I started to realize how sheltered I had been as a child, never being introduced to the 100’s of neighborhoods the make LA such a unique melting pot of cultures. Read more>>

Xochi Maberry-Gaulke

Personal expression is liberating and creating and wearing my earrings helps me be free. Crafting has always been a meditative activity because it helps me decompress and keep my hands busy while my mind wanders. Read more>>

Marli Ansel

Here’s what I totally believe to be true: Every single circumstance you go through is to prepare you for your calling in life. About ten years ago, well, 12 now, I went through a dark time where I was incredibly lost. I had disconnected from my family and completely lost who I was. I was in a wasteland that started as just a fun time and soon became a lifestyle. Read more>>

LeilaRose Valencia

Going through adolescence during this time and age is an extreme challenge for your ego. There is so much that bombards teens with fitting in, social media and relationships. As a freshman in high school, I was going through it. I already been through relationship issues, girl hate, jealousy, cyber bulling and so much more but I refused to let my struggles bring me down. Read more>>

Ashley Kron

I have a stereotypical artsy nerd path: teacher’s pet, choir kid, reading lots and keeping angsty journals. I tried the school newspaper (bad at investigating, good at human interest columns), being a reclusive writer (too chatty), dancing (not flexible). That’s why I fell into film, and into directing and production design because I can fulfill a creative vision and collaborate with friends and be interactive. Read more>>

Nicole Pellegrini

For me, right now, if I have the opportunity to be creative, I’ll do it. And if I have the opportunity to help people, I’ll do it. All of the things I’m currently doing have helped me so much in life, that I feel compelled to share them with others. The way I see it is if one thing I do can help one person, then I feel like I’ve fulfilled my purpose. Read more>>

Deanna Villarreal

I loved writing, in general, and have written stories, poems, and articles my whole life, but it wasn’t until 2014 that I really decided to pursue singing and songwriting seriously. I started out slow, but once I moved to LA, I met some wonderful people and have been trying to climb my way to the top of the food chain one session, one demo at a time! Read more>>

LeilaRose Valencia

Through everything that I have experienced I also learned how to love and be true to myself through God’s strength. I am focused and my personality is fun and straight up. I don’t like to waste time. I am always working on myself, my goals, my future. Regardless of where I end up in my career, I can never forget this adventurous journey. Read more>>

Momo Thorys

I stayed in Bangkok and worked as a magazine editor for a while but in my heart, I wanted to fly away. I want to start again… it was hard to go through all of that in my childhood. I was very different, a total outsider and I don’t really have any guidance. But I have learned and grown from it. Read more>>

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