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Trailblazers: Mattapan

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 Mattapan that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Valerie Larena

Music was a passion of mine. Born in the hustle and bustle of Haiti’s capital Carrefour. Music was a big deal in our household, from the legendary voice of Céline Dion, the sultry Senela dancing on stage, to the classical French singer like Fréderick François. Along with music, dancing played just as big a part with our family parties. Read more>>

Ajea Nicole

I’ve always been someone who is passionate about inspiring and encouraging others. Whether that’s through posting motivational quotes on my Instagram story or Bible verses, there’s something that really draws me in and gets excited about sharing something positive. Read more>>

Alexis Jones

Creating for me has never been traditional, mostly impractical. I was a way of challenging myself while enjoying making art. And over time, I realized the art that I really enjoyed making came in the form of culinary arts. I was fortunate over the years to take my culinary degree And put it to use in many of the jobs. Read more>>

Stephanie Moniz

My whole world was in a dark place, and now here I am basking in blessings and just trying to fill the world with light. I had been victimized but the victim wasn’t a name tag I was comfortable wearing forever. I don’t have to and, I just want the rest of the world to know that they don’t have to either. Read more>>

Melissa Hoyt

I’ve always had a fascination for photography since I was a child. I remember having a favorite toy camera that I would carry along with me all the time. I pretended to take pictures whenever I could, and I believe that was the first step towards my passion. Later on in life, I developed a love for pictures, art, photography and just the ability to create things. Although I didn’t own a DSLR camera myself I found myself admiring others photography via social media, museums, etc. Read more>>

Ayana Mack

My art journey began and became more developed in my early teens, after being accepted to Boston Arts Academy as a Visual Arts major. From there I was accepted into The New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University where received a BFA in Graphic Design (2011). Read more>>

Maria Latimore

In 2015, I had a strong calling to do more meaningful and purposeful work and started Maria Latimore Group. My consulting practice leverages the substantial skills and knowledge that I’ve developed throughout a career spanning high tech. Read more>>

Edwens Joseph

My music entails the fruits of our labor as well as my aspirations being a product of a broken neighborhood and community and the harsh realities that go along with them and where I am now in this journey. I love to entertain. Read more>>

Tiffany White

My mission is to make sure that women and men love and take care of their whole natural selves, so I went to school to also become an Institute of Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Read more>>

Nischeena Charles

In July 2017, I decided to begin my fitness journey. It was a trying time because I wanted to look and feel good, but I was feeding my body the wrong things and the weight wasn’t going to the right places. Read more>>

Kelsi Gotauco

I started out doing home health care as a nursing assistant because I’ve always had a natural desire to care for other people. I believe that my empathy stems from helping my mother take care of my brother Chris, who is severely disabled both mentally and physically. Read more>>

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