Over the last two years, the “20 under 35: Young professionals changing the world initiative” instituted by Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) recognized 40 young professionals under the age of 35. To reflect the special 2016 MEDA convention theme—“Business as a calling: Women changing the world”—MEDA will recognize 10 exceptional young women who exude a strong commitment to faith values and service and embody an entrepreneurial spirit at the convention in San Antonio Tex., at the end of October 2016.
Among the recipients are four Canadians:
• Leena Miller Cressman of Kitchener, Ont., is the owner and director of Queen Street Yoga. She uses her yoga studio to engage the community in dialogue and action concerning social justice issues. She has hosted community conversations about climate change, a “bearing witness day” to a local indigenous residential school, free summer yoga in the park, and yoga with social services organizations and in workplaces.
• Carissa Rempel of Arborg, Man., is a mother, artist and philanthropist who opened a youth drop-in centre called the Bridge in 2011. She also started “Battle the bad with beauty,” a project in which she sells her children’s art and donates the money to various charities.
• Salima Jaffer of Toronto has worked on youth development and livelihood projects in war-torn countries such as Sudan and South Sudan. She has also implemented a national initiative in Canada that provided aboriginal entrepreneurs with the resources to grow their businesses.
• Ishita Aggarwal of Toronto has served as an access and equity student blogger at the University of Toronto, is a founding member of the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) national conference, and a research associate with the International Women’s Rights Project. In December 2015, she founded Behind-the-Scene-Magazine (B-T-S), an e-zine that aims to shed light on unseen and under-reported gender-based aggressions in society.