Tag Archives: Inspire

“If we want our girls to benefit from the courage and wisdom of the women before them, we have to share the stories.” – Shireen Dodson

As February comes to a close, we enter the month of March, also known as women’s history month. The celebration of women’s history began as women’s history week, in Sonoma County, California in 1978. This week included March 8th, International Women’s Day. Then, in 1981, Senator Orinn Hatch and Barbara Mikulski co-sponsored a joint Congressional Resolution for a National Women’s History Week. Then, within the next 6 years, Congress expanded the celebration of women into a month – March.

Throughout history, women have worked hard in order to fight for equal voting rights, equal pay and equal treatment. And to a degree, much of this has been established. However, there is always room for improvement.

Although women in the Western world have achieved some equality, women in other parts of the world are still suffering and lacking a voice. These women are still living in societies where they are discouraged from voicing their opinions.

For this reason, the INSPIRE@BTHS team interviews inspirational women once a month in order to inspire other women to work hard, try hard and succeed in their following their dreams. Our motto is work hard for yourself, for your family, and for those women around the world who still need someone to voice their opinions for them.

Here is an article about an Indian woman who broke barriers and got control of her life. Kakuben Lalabhai Parmar, a Gajarati women from a cattle-herding community, was from an untouchable caste. The men in her society controlled all aspects of the household. Nonetheless, through the Self Employed Women’s Association, also known as the SEWA project, Parmar was able to stand up on her own feet and eventually control the household account.

The INSPIRE@BTHS team will continue to bring our readers inspirational women that are taking steps to change the world. We hope that our past subjects have been worth reading about and we hope our future subjects are even more exciting for our devoted readers.

March may be women’s history month, but, for the INSPIRE@BTHS team, it means a little a more. March also marks the INSPIRE@BTHS team’s first anniversary! We couldn’t have made it this far without our readers and our interviewees. So, we’d like to take this time to thank you all for reading the blog and contributing to our experience as we try to make little changes in today’s world.

Stay tuned for our upcoming, inspiring interviewees. And remember: Be assertive. Be curious and most importantly, be inspired.

Adieu and Arrivaderci everyone! Until next time on INSPIRE@BTHS.


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Phenomenal Woman

“Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.” Emily Dickinson

The INSPIRE@BTHS team is working on many different ventures this summer. Our members are traveling abroad, spending time with their families and friends, working, volunteering,  touring colleges, trying to change the world in order to reach success and happiness in the future.

We are strong believers in using time efficiently. Every minute is precious, every hour useful and every moment worth a lifetime. Use this summer, and the summers ahead, to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Pick up a new hobby. Travel if you can. Visit family you haven’t seen in a while. Catch up with an old friend. Volunteer at the local animal shelter. Change the world.

Life is too short to wait for things to happen. Being proactive, taking initiative, and stepping up to the plate – it’s all on you.

Do something that makes you feel successful. It’s a common misconception that success is synonymous with money. It’s not. As long as you’re genuinely happy with what you’re doing, and you enjoy what you’re doing, you are successful. Stay on that path because all the good things in life, all the joy, all the happiness, will follow you. You won’t need to chase it.

And, of course, don’t forget to open all the doors. You never know what is lying ahead.

The INSPIRE@BTHS team will continue to bring you amazing women who have proven to be great role models for the young and old. But, this month we’d like to take the time to remind you that life is worth living. And to remind you that, no matter what you’re doing, you are an amazing woman. Below is a poem by Maya Angelou that is not only inspirational, but also heartwarming and beautiful. Be proud to be a woman. But moreover, be proud to be living and enjoying life. Because that’s what life is truly about.

Phenomenal Woman By Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Adieu and Arrivaderci everyone! Until next time on INSPIRE@BTHS.

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“Live Life And Experience It”-Selena Rezvani

Selena Rezvani

Selena Rezvani

A new era is among us. It is the era of possibilities; a time to be whatever you want, to do whatever you want, to invent your heart’s every desire. But with all this possibility and freedom what stops us from achieving what we want? What is holding us back from going for the gold? What is preventing us from moving actively forward to reach our dreams? It is fear. Fear of uncertainty and fear of change will always be obstacles that people, especially young women, are forced to overcome when trying to achieve their goals. However, some people have gone against the grain and have become the voices of encouragement; voices that will guide the young, the hesitant and the afraid into a world where one’s every desire can be achieved. One such person is Selena Rezvani, author of The Next Generation of Women Leaders and speaker and consultant for career coaching and development.

Graduating from New York University with a BS and MSW Degree and getting her MBA from John Hopkins University, Selena Rezvani is certainly no stranger to the world of success. However, Selena did not know from the get-go that she was going to end up where she is today. As a high school student and young adult, Rezvani was interested in French and French culture. She says, “I was a Francophile. So, I went and studied abroad in Montreal and then in France. I loved it and I thought that was going to be my career. …That’s what I applied at NYU to do. I decided to major in French. However, the first week they had you take a test to see how you do in the language and I placed out of the college needs. I could skip language all together. I decided I would try to skip it and do other things which then lead me to psychology and then business and then a whole other world…I still love French culture but it’s more of a hobby now.” Clearly, different circumstances change a person’s perspective. Rezvani’s love for French culture lead her to trying new things, like business. Suddenly, she entered a world that was totally different from what she had planned on exploring. Nevertheless, she learned that change was not only good, but necessary.

While earning her MBA at John Hopkins University, Selena began to write her book The Next Generation of Women Leaders, a bible of sorts for women who want to get to the top of the working ladder. This incredible book provides the instruments and secrets to progress into the top leadership roles of today as well as interviews with high powered women and their success stories. Rezvani had a multitude of inspirations for her book. “What inspired me [to write this book] was such a small number of women at the top of corporations. Being an MBA student, I looked up and thought this is dismal. This paints a really unsettling picture for a young woman who’s looking to go out there and do great things in her career…why isn’t it quicker to change? Why is it so slow to progress? That is what inspired me to write the book. I thought, even if I’m not one of these women at the top, surely there’s a way for me to create a conversation between young women and those that got there in order to learn their secrets.”

So what do women actually have to do to get to the top? The INSPIRE@BTHS Team got a little glimpse into what secrets Selena Rezvani had to offer. What can women do as that first step, that first leap of faith into the unknown? “A number of [things]” says Rezvani. “I think a really important one is to get a personal board of directors who can manage your career. Really taking the time to seek out different people who are  smarter and more knowledgeable than you and maybe more experienced to say ‘let me help you with your image, let me help you with your technical skills, let me help you and guide you in this industry.’ You know, you really can’t look to one mentor to do everything for you. No mentor is going to have everything you need. I think something young women can do is don’t try to do it all yourself. The smartest people reach out and make relationships. You ask ‘how are you so good at what you do?’ or ‘You’re so good with clients can you tell me or will you teach me?’ That’s the hallmark of a leader or a leader in the making.”

So there you have it. The secrets are revealed by the magician, herself. We then went on to ask Selena a few questions out of the Marcel Proust Questionnaire. We believe that this is a great way to get to know our interviewee. Selena Rezvani had some humorous answers to tell us.

Favorite fictional character: Caris from the novel World Without End by Ken Follet. She’s a strong woman. I loved her character because she was often underestimated because she was a woman and people didn’t expect a lot of her.

Your most treasured object: Probably my favorite thing is a framed picture of my parents on their very first date. That’s something I would hate to be without.

The happiest moment of your life: Getting married. It was a very happy and incredible moment and day. Also, getting my book deal.

Greatest extravagance: Massages. I do a lot of walking and carrying heavy bags and such so…

Favorite journey: The coolest place I’ve been in my life is probably going to India and Pakistan as a kid. My father is Pakistani so seeing the Taj Mahal, was so beautiful, so interesting, especially through a kid’s eyes.

Greatest achievement:  Helping young women think big. It’s a joy and a pleasure and a privilege to make a living helping young women.

Greatest influence: My mother.

Motto for life: Fear regret more than failure.

Words of advice: Don’t let anybody pressure you. Your compass in life should be ‘does this excite me? Do I like this?’ do I enjoy this? That’s what you should be gravitating to. You naturally gravitate to the things that excite you. What I found is, find a career that has your passion in it and you will work so much harder. That’ll get you further in your career, that will get you more respect from the people in your life.

Believe it or not, getting to the top of the working chain should not be a lonely road. Rather, an individual should have people by their side that will influence them and, most importantly, inspire them. For the INSPIRE@BTHS TEAM, Selena Rezvani is one of those people. Selena Rezvani is a pioneer in her line of work. She breaks boundaries with everything that she does and is a true inspiration. We cannot wait to see what this brilliant woman will do in the future.

So everyone, fear regret more than failure. Be assertive. Be curious and most importantly, be inspired.

Adieu and Arrivaderci everyone! Until next time on INSPIRE@BTHS.

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History is Herstory Too

Someone very wise once said “History is Herstory too.”

Behind every powerful man, stands a powerful, cunning and brilliant woman. However most of the time (not all of the time, but most) her story goes unnoticed. Throughout history, women have done incredible things that should be noticed and should be praised for. This is where our job comes in. We are here to uncover their stories, to capture the world through their eyes and ultimately motivate people (be it men or women) to do the same.

So, without further ado, in the style of Julia Powell, we start our journey:

The Mission: Spread the word about incredible women of today through interviews, profiles, the works.

The “Journalists”: INSPIRE @ Brooklyn Technical High School. A  few  girls trying to inspire the world….one blog at a time.

We can understand why you would not want to read this. Why should you care about someone who is not in any way close to you? Why should you care about this blog if you have number of other important things to do? Why should you care about what we have to say? The truth is you don’t. But think about it this way… Will it hurt you that much if you listen? Wouldn’t you want someone to care about your achievements? Wouldn’t you want to enthuse people?

We know it’s a lot of questions to be asked in such a short period of time. We figure we should just let you mull them over.

We leave you, however, with one last thought: These women have achieved success, why not let them inspire you?

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