In honor of Women's History Month, we've launched #WomenWhoWill, an online campaign honoring women we know will make history from around the world.
Say hi to Sanah Jivani, an honors college student at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is the founder and CEO of a non-profit organization called The Love Your Natural Self Foundation, which focuses on empowering individuals through events, movements and hands-on sessions. Sanah started this organization after losing all of her hair to Alopecia in the seventh grade and struggling with wigs, bullying and low self-worth. Now, her non-profit organization hosts projects in 70 schools and 28 countries worldwide. The biggest project hosted by her non-profit is the International Natural Day movement. She has reached over 10,000 students through speaking engagements and raised over $10,000 in fundraising. Oh, and in her free time, she is one of thirty We Are Family Foundation's Global Teen Leaders, a TEDx Speaker, an American Association of University Women Student Advisory Council Member, an America’s Promise Alliance Board of Trustee Member, a Pearson Student Advisor, a State Farm Youth Advisory Board Member, a DoSomething and College Board Youth Advisory Council Member, a 2016-2017 Character Counts Person of Character, the social media Intern at Gobie and an Editorial Intern at HelloFlo among other things.
What are you up to right now? I am a college student, CEO, daughter, sister, friend, and so much more! I am so grateful for where I am and all of the different roles I play. I am double majoring in communications and sociology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. I am the CEO of The Love Your Natural Self Foundation, a non-profit that focuses on promoting self-love. We have curriculum present in 61 campuses, and our biggest goal as an organization is to see an "international day of self-love" someday! You can learn more at: www.internationalnaturalday.com
What’s a struggle you’ve overcome? What did you learn from it? One of the biggest struggles I've overcome is losing all of my hair to Alopecia. When I was in the seventh grade, I woke up with all of my hair on my pillow. At the moment, I was heartbroken. With every strand of hair, I lost a bit of confidence, until I was left with nothing. Ultimately, though, losing my hair helped me find myself. I slowly started to practice self-love, and I was soon inspired to start my non-profit. I learned that hardships can be turned into something beautiful with passion, persistence, love, and a whole lot of courage.
With the current political climate, what’s your advice to keep taking action? How are you taking action? My advice would be just that. Keep taking action. Don't give up. I know that the political climate can often be discouraging, but choose to believe in love and hope, even during the hard times. Don't stop working hard towards positive change, because everything you do makes a difference. I am taking action by continuing my work with my non-profit, even on my hardest days.
What’s your self-mantra? You have to make peace with yourself before you can bring peace to the world.
What does an average day look like to you? Waking up by 8 am, sending emails for my non-profit or skyping with a school, going to classes and doing homework, managing my virtual internships, all while taking time out to practice self-care and spend time with people I love! An average day can be pretty busy, but it is busy in the best way - I love everything that I have the opportunity to do, and I am so grateful!
It’s Women’s History Month - who is a woman from history/from your own life that has shaped who you are today? My mom. When my mom was pretty young, she had to drop out of school. Soon after, she was put into an arranged marriage and moved to the United States without knowing any English. She persisted, however, and made sure to raise her daughters with a strong sense of confidence and a love of learning. My mom has taught me so much about courage, persistence, kindness, compassion, and love.