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Crownmunity


Highlights individuals within the community that continue to wear a metaphorical crown to   symbolize how they find their voice and follow their passions.

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Crownmunity


Highlights individuals within the community that continue to wear a metaphorical crown to   symbolize how they find their voice and follow their passions.

iGeekuPlay-Change The Way You Play

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As a child, Nick Janes was always curious about how things were made and wanted to know the method behind the madness to turn them into logical solutions. Growing up with a father who was in the technology industry, he grew the desire to fix and repair instead of trash or buy things new, which allowed for endless possibilities to learn something from nothing. He was constantly learning andsoon turned these fascinations into hobbies then into jobs. He graduated from Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, NC with a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Information Systems and competed for Conference Carolinas in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Division II. While juggling the time commitment of soccer, he also had the pleasure to gain work experience that taught him the value of learning what areas of technology others struggled with. Without knowing at the time, iGeekuPlay was born through his passion for showing others how to turn technology solutions into something attainable.

iGeekuPlay allowed Nick to combine his skill sets and answer questions around the rapidly changing technology world. With that inspiration in mind, he had the vision to “change the way you play”. Through his 'geeking' he wanted to assist and create a hassle free technology experience for everyone. “I enjoy the process of learning new ideas and continually striving to bring joy to others by helping them with any technology problem/idea/question they may have. For example, I do photography and videography at corporate events, weddings, birthdays, etc. For some, this could just be a job to help them pay the bills, but for the product I am trying to create, it is more about capturing the raw emotions and authenticity of the event that will allows others feelings to live forever.” He shares a passion with many other entrepreneurs and small business that want to create a personal relationship with his customers. “I am sure that my career journey has been much like other entrepreneurs, I had an idea and took a risk to see what could happen not expecting much to occur rather than helping others around me.”

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He knows the challenges of starting, especially building cliental, but creating his company has taught him the beauty of not stressing during the bad times but rather thankful and blessed during the amazing opportunities he has experienced thus far. "It has been a constant learning opportunity for me and I will continue to learn from my experiences as well as others experiences and share my knowledge to help change the way you play."  His main focus is to expand and create a larger impact on those who are struggling with technology to harness its capabilities or to expand internally to other markets to offer a variety of services.  Nick aspires to expand his location of coverage and potentially open up a couple of stores. “I will give you a sneak peek into my visions for a dream I know will happen eventually when I have the fund and utilities to complete: give back to the less fortunate and for the ones who also share having a dream.” He has a similar experience to many of the other tourists who visit Asheville, NC but from a different perspective. Like many other culture based cities there are many street performers who are often homeless or had no income other than what they make on the street. “I am sure you have seen some that have had some incredible talent whether it’s singing or instrumental or dancing. I would love to show the world these skills to produce something that they can sell and generate income to get off the streets or even into a better living situation.” His whole idea is that during the creation process he would house, feed, and tend to their basic human needs and then set them up with a social media marketer to help them on their new journey. 

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“My advice to young entrepreneurs is to just go out and create something you are proud to stand for. So many people try to plan everything out to the smallest detail and then wonder why things are not working out for them or what stopped them in the process of trying. The world changes so fast that it is hard to plan very far ahead but when you have a dream and a great support system, anything is possible. I am so thankful for my support from my clients, future clients, friends, and family.”


Copyright © 2017 SabinaChaudhuri.com All rights reserved.

Redefining Possibilities


Christina Chin

Redefining Possibilities


Christina Chin

Redefining Possibilities

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Rocking bandanas and denim in the great State of Texas with her brother Vernon. 

Rocking bandanas and denim in the great State of Texas with her brother Vernon. 

Growing up in a military family, Christina Chin grew accustomed to a lifestyle of moving every 2-3 years. Born in Kansas City, Kansas, Christina went on to live in Mississippi, Texas, Washington and Germany before starting high school in Davis, California. For weeks leading up to the first day of school, Christina would practice introducing herself in hopes of being invited to lunch by anyone. Her childhood experiences as the new kid in search of community, led to her passion for underdog transformation stories. 

From remodeling homes to pitching partnerships for investment, Christina loves helping people and places live a better story. At UC Davis, Christina majored in communications with the intention of working on political campaigns until she landed an internship in Intel’s Corporate Affairs Group. Corporate Affairs opened her eyes to the world of Corporate Social Responsibility and using Intel as a vehicle to drive social impact.As a Community Engagement manager, Christina rallied employees around core initiatives and identified strategic partners for engineers looking to lead externally in hopes of transitioning into business development roles internally. By serving as the catalyst between her network and aspiring professionals, Christina brought great change, courage, and new found passion to many of her coworkers. One of Christina’s proudest accomplishments was pioneering the first University model of Girls Who Code and partnering with Stanford’s Clayman Institute to close the gender leadership gap in tech.

Today, Christina serves as the Technical Assistant to the Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s Public Sector vertical. In her role, Christina drives international customer meetings in over 18 countries and executive keynotes for SXSW to Smart Africa. From these experiences, she learned that “No one expects you to know exactly what you want to do. But you have to put yourself out there and experiment—explore with intent. People reward initiative and intellectual curiosity.”

Christina jokingly added, “I truly believe you and your mama are the only people who go to bed thinking about your career. If you want something, you have to make the ask. I can honestly say that I’ve never been recruited for a job that I wanted. I’ve always had to sell myself and have an executive sponsor vouch for my credibility.”

Another valuable lesson Christina learned came after being cast for ABC’s Expedition Impossible. Executive Producer Mark Burnett shared a saying by the Berbers of Morocco, “Choose your companions before choosing the road.” The experience of trekking 2,000 miles across the Kingdom of Morocco made Christina realize the importance of having the right people on your team, “Natalie and Brittany literally carried me and my gear up a sand mountain in the Sahara Desert. I would not have made it out of the Sahara without them. You can have the best plans and strategy in the world, but they will never materialize without the right people on your team.”

Girls Who Code Graduation @ Stanford with Intel's CEO Brian Krzanich

Girls Who Code Graduation @ Stanford with Intel's CEO Brian Krzanich

The California Girls on ABC's Expedition Impossible

The California Girls on ABC's Expedition Impossible

After 8 plus years at Intel, Christina is long overdue for her sabbatical. Instead of traveling, she looks forward to staying local. One of her good friends returned to his hometown to help Mayor Michael Tubbs reinvent Stockton, and Christina volunteered to help them during her sabbatical. “One of my favorite team experiences was high school student government. Everyone rolled up their sleeves with a common goal and desire to create a better future for our school. I live for that shared purpose and camaraderie.” Christina encourages everyone to live a better story by making life not about you. “It’s really simple. The greatest stories are not about winning. The greatest stories are about sacrifice. Everyday people who step aside to let someone else rise and who give their personal best to an audience of one.”

Directing a short film on Intel's She Will Connect program

Directing a short film on Intel's She Will Connect program

ITU's Broadband Commissioner Meeting with UNESCO's Director General Irina Bokova and Intel VP & GM John Galvin

ITU's Broadband Commissioner Meeting with UNESCO's Director General Irina Bokova and Intel VP & GM John Galvin

MBA graduation

MBA graduation


Copyright © 2017 SabinaChaudhuri.com All rights reserved.

Diversifying the WorkPlace


Eileen Carey

Diversifying the WorkPlace


Eileen Carey

Diversifying The Workplace through Glassbreakers

April 2017

Growing up in a male dominated industry, many women wonder what it takes to get ahead and to be that next CEO.  Meet Eileen Carey, Glassbreakers CEO. Glassbreakers is an enterprise software company focused on supporting diversity and inclusion as a core business function. Raised in Dobbs Ferry, NY but now a San Francisco Bay Area native,  Eileen spent the majority of her career in corporate communications and public relations. She received her MBA in International Marketing from Fordham University and a BA in English from the University of Maryland and prior to Glassbreakers, worked at Citigroup and MarkMonitor-part of Thomson Reuters.

After losing her best friend John to suicide and his battle with OCD, her community came together and created JCK Foundation in his honor. Their mission is to raise awareness for OCD and other mental illnesses by sharing John's story of compassion and strength, and to encourage people to open up about their mental health, all cultivating to end to stigma of mental illness. (http://www.jckfoundation.org/)

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In parallel to maintaining a lifelong commitment to philanthropy, Eileen has a vision to make Glassbreakers dominate the enterprise software industry. She was inspired take a risk and start her own company because she could not accept the systemic barriers to leadership in today’s workforce. “I believe the macroeconomic impact of equal representation in powerful roles in global corporations will lead to career opportunities for oppressed communities and greater financial returns for businesses.”  Eileen’s career path was fostered by her role models—women on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley who mentored and fueled her ambitions because they led by example. Not everyone has access to mentors, and it’s hard to be what you can’t see. She went from being a writer, to a marketing manager in luxury goods, to a member of the global public affairs team in one of the world’s biggest banks, to a communications lead in a fascinating company, all before she started Glassbreakers. The one thing all her career experiences had in common was the brilliant women who mentored her. “It’s been a lot of bold moves – taking opportunities – growing into leadership.  My career journey was also a lot of asking for help, seeking connections and constantly surrounding myself with mentors.”

Her advice for women who want to be the next CEO is: “quit your day job and go for it. Do not worry about keeping up with your peers or just staying for that last bonus. You lose valuable time when you know you should be building your company. Also, make yourself a known person who is willing to help. My greatest strength as a CEO of an early stage startup is the pocket full of favors I've collected over the years. By putting myself out there to help other people, I'm now in a position where I can ask them for help and they're more than willing to lend a hand.”


Copyright © 2017 SabinaChaudhuri.com All rights reserved.

The Voice of the Students


Lyndon Huling

The Voice of the Students


Lyndon Huling

The Voice of the Students 

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Lyndon Huling is dedicated to helping bring a voice to the students of UC Davis. Growing up in a dangerous community in Vallejo, California, it was challenging for him to overcome the low income barriers that existed within his community. He found solace in education through his schoolwork and connecting with teachers and peers. At a young age he found that the true power of education is its ability to help people pursue their dreams.

Serving as an advisor for college students allows him to play a role in inspiring students to make the most of their college experience. "It is important for me to cultivate my students' passions and help them identify their own strengths. Sometimes, we can be blind to our own identities, or experience self doubt. Having someone you trust who can lend a listening ear or genuine support can make a world of difference, and that’s what I try to do." College is an opportunity to explore your identity, challenge your ideas, and ultimately persevere and graduate, and Lyndon has seen this transformation happen in front of his eyes as students go through college. "The pride they take as they walk across that stage means everything to me, and their accomplishments inspire me. My students' successes are my successes. They inspire me."

Lyndon attributes his forward thinking mindset to his close friends and family. Professionally, he is passionate about supporting college students, especially those from backgrounds that are not traditionally represented in higher education, and their aspirations.

He tremendously enjoys working with students and can relate to them in many ways. His future aspiration is to be a change-agent. In order to do so, he is looking to move up the chain in order to influence policies. "I am happy making a positive impact on these students' lives, and that’s something to aim for in a job. I know I can make a broader and deeper impact if I continue to grow professionally and start to make those critical decisions to help my students. Ultimately, you should aim to wake up excited to take on whatever the day throws at you!"

Working with Lyndon at UC Davis was one of the highlights of my UC Davis career and his passion to help others is contagious. Seeing the impact Lyndon created in our community was one of the reasons why I wanted to follow in his footsteps by minoring in Education and ultimately helping people find and follow their passions.

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Copyright © 2017 SabinaChaudhuri.com All rights reserved.

The Irresistible Ripple Effect


Kathy Devi McFadden

The Irresistible Ripple Effect


Kathy Devi McFadden

March 29th, 2017

The Irresistible Ripple Effect

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Having over 20 years of experience across the technology, healthcare, and non-profit industries, Kathy Devi McFadden not only maintains her day job working in HR at Cisco, but also coaches teams and leaders globally from all disciplines. In her mid-thirties, everything was the way it was “supposed” to be for her– college, graduate school, and an established career but something was missing. In the midst of a grueling company meeting one of her colleagues maintained a sense of peace and normality that he attributed to what he learned from reading the book The Secret.

That was the “AH-HA” moment of realization for Kathy, like a single drop of water in her ocean, thus starting the irresistible ripple effect.

Eager to find more peace in her life Kathy started to follow the teachings of Yoga for a healthy and happy lifestyle. By incorporating Yoga’s philosophy and practices, she thrived personally and professionally and recognized the transformation that was happening.

The ripple from each piece of her life’s purpose started to come together. She saw a clear vision to guide others as they step through their journey of transformation. Kathy soon began teaching meditation, teaching hatha yoga, and professional coaching.

Living the yogic lifestyle has transformed her over the past 10 years in ways that she could never have imagined. "I’m much more aware of the little things that make me happy. I take much better care of myself. I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been in my adult life. Relationships are improved. I do awesome work and work with great people. My life is prosperous. Life is good" says Kathy.  Not only does the philosophy and practice of Yoga help her to slow down, notice, and appreciate it all, it also gives her the tools to help others find it for themselves.

A core principle of Yoga is to “surrender”. This does not mean giving up but rather do the work you are to do (your purpose) and let the rest happen. Through Kathy’s coaching, she is able to partner with her clients to find their purpose, align everything personally and professionally towards it, and surrender. The results are magical and can be seen through her clients experiencing more self-confidence, increased job satisfaction, promotions, reduced stress, and improved health and happiness.

Kathy’s wants every client, coworker, or colleague that she meets to experience the magic of what’s possible when we fulfill our purpose. The most exciting thing for Kathy is when her clients experience that single drop of water in their ocean, that “Ah-ha” moment, to inspire them to follow their irresistible ripple.

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Copyright © 2017 SabinaChaudhuri.com All rights reserved.

Two Visions, one Crown


Tori Votino (Miss Santa Clara) & Jennifer Smith (Miss Santa Clara OT)

Two Visions, one Crown


Tori Votino (Miss Santa Clara) & Jennifer Smith (Miss Santa Clara OT)

March 23rd, 2017

Two Visions, One Crown

When someone name drops the word pageant, the first thing that comes to mind is big hair and pretty tiaras. When it comes to the ladies of the Miss Santa Clara Organization, I can unequivocally say that we bring a fresh new perspective to the pageant world. My sister title holders Tori Votino (Miss Santa Clara) and Jennifer Smith (Miss Santa Clara's Outstanding Teen) both hold a crown, but their vision on how they want to transform the world is what makes them so unique.

Tori Votino, born in Loomis and raised in Cupertino, CA, never expected life to head in this direction. She majored in Political Science from the University of Santa Cruz, and after her 6 month stay in China became interested in how the structure of society affects one another. She saw children begging for food and was thankful for what she had, which is why she was inspired to use her position and her privilege to make a difference. Tori kept on asking the question "Why?" and was eager to learn how being involved in politics can directly impact how people live their lives. 

"You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him how to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime" (Chinese Proverb). To understand and create a meaning behind this quote, Tori aspires to be a lawyer. She states, "[t]here are a lot of ways people are oppressed or don't know their rights and I want to help provide resources and skills to those in need so they are well off in the long run."

As she has gotten older, she looks up to her mother and is thankful that there was always an equal playing field for both her and her brother. Her mom has always been that leading figure who supported her to follow her passion and raise her voice. 

As an ambassador for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) she helps pair advocates with foster youth to make sure that they have the right people to help make decisions and recommendations on the children's behalf. She is interested in pursuing employment law because of the ability to save the day and help someone who has been completely wronged. 

The first time I met Tori was during the information night for our pageant, and I knew she was different, not because her talent was rap, but because of her outlook on life. The way she raises her voice through her lyrics, expressing the hardships and challenges people face and how it relates with everyday situations, sets her apart from your typical pageant girl or future lawyer.

Photo Credit: Hart Photography

Photo Credit: Hart Photography

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Jennifer Smith, our kung fu expert teen, started getting involved in the Miss America program at an early age. She took part in the princess program and was inspired by all the talent, passion, and drive these young ladies had.  

As a junior at Milpitas High School, Jennifer attributes to her years in the Miss America system for making her more ambitious, wanting to pursue a higher education, and getting ahead of the curve. She is very thankful to her parents for providing the support needed to branch out and find her own voice.

After her father was diagnosed with kidney cancer, she founded Blankets for the Brave, where she makes double layer, hand tied blankets for all ages currently suffering from cancer. She couldn't help but imagine how uncomfortable and homesick he felt, which is why the blankets she makes are a symbol of support and hope while patients are fighting this battle. 

Love and support made her a competent, ambitions, and driven person, but her faith has been very close to her. Her cross necklace is a symbol of what her faith has done for her and is a constant reminder of the personal challenges she had to overcome.

The community that is created, the family that is built, the sisterhood that is growing, are what surprised me about entering the pageant world. Not only do we have this great friendship, but the Miss Santa Clara Organization Committee have worked tirelessly to make sure all three of us gain more than just a crown, which I am truly thankful for.


Copyright © 2017 SabinaChaudhuri.com All rights reserved.

The Melody of My Life


Inspired by Erin Opray

The Melody of My Life


Inspired by Erin Opray

March 16th, 2017

The Melody of My Life

Growing up in a world of music, surrounded and influencing the way she views the world, Erin Opray used composing music as a way to express her creative freedom. She looked to her mom, her faith, and her Irish culture for inspiration in her creations.

When her grandma passed away at a young age, she looked for a way to process the grief of having a someone so close pass away. She decided to venture to the corner in her house where stood an untouched piano, gathering dust. Even though she had never written music, she closed her eyes and started playing what she felt. From that instance, as if it was a message from God, faith and music have been close to her. 

In High School, Erin pioneered composition tracks and was the first composer in her conservatory to put on recitals. Graduating from the University of California-Davis with a music major, she was surprised to see the gender bias in many of her classes. According to BSO Music, women composers only accounted for 14.3 percent of performances of works by those living composers who are writing the pieces that may one day enter the regular repertoire. This glass ceiling didn't discourage her from following her passion but rather strengthened her drive to create her footprint in this type of world. She competed in a composition contest and was the only women who was selected as a finalist. 

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Erin loves imparting her wisdom and creativity around music to all ages. Her favorite moment was teaching a class of 1st and 2nd graders about rhythm and music to help create their own voice. 

After graduating, Erin moved from one male dominated industry to another. As a Business Analyst at Cisco, she was fascinated to learn the connection that music has with the technology world and learned how to apply the creative with the logical side. She is thankful to her family who have supported her throughout her journey of music and technology. 

Erin's emotional element she invokes through her story telling is what inspires me the most about her. Her objective through this visualization is to allow listeners take have their own creative freedom to envision and feel anything they want. This aspect of her music is what makes her so different than many other composers. 

Surprisingly enough, Erin and I lived in the same complex at UC Davis and had mutual friends but never actually met until we both started working at Cisco. It is interesting to think how a world so big can be so small and connected.  


Copyright © 2017 SabinaChaudhuri.com All rights reserved.

The Omni Movement


Inspired by Imaan “PAPAFUEGZ” Taghavi 

The Omni Movement


Inspired by Imaan “PAPAFUEGZ” Taghavi 

The Omni Movement

March 8th, 2017

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Imaan “PapaFuegz” Taghavi, a 23 year old University of California-Davis Engineering Graduate, spent his time after graduation navigating through the "real world" roller coasters and envisioned a future very different from that of a typical engineer. His love for dance inspired the idea of "The Omni Movement," with the vision of making social dancing more accessible across the globe through a few approaches.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then dancing with another human being is worth a million. Social dancing, or improvisational partner dancing, connects individuals on a primal level that transcends ethnic, political, sexual, or religious boundaries. Yet the beauty of social dancing, whether it be latin, swing, blues, zouk, etc., remains largely unknown to the general public.

Imaan's vision can be summarized as: "A balanced reality encourages self-awareness and empowers paradigm shifts".

1. A Balanced Reality

Imaan, with a love for technology, was able to use his resources and critical thinking about the world we live in to maintain a balance between his virtual and physical reality.

2. Encourages Self-Awareness

He always encourages people to ask themselves what fulfills them and why. "The most important thing in life is to know why you are doing what you're doing"-Derek Sivers

3. And Empower Paradigm Shifts  

I had the privilege of knowing Imaan at UC Davis and experienced first hand his love and passion towards social Latin dance. Since there was a small Latin dancers community, he created 'Baile De Fuego' as a way to teach other students salsa dancing. After two years, a club that first started off with only 20 students, became one of the largest clubs at UC Davis. The way he inspired others to express emotion through dance is commendable.

PROOF you can partner dance ANYWHERE, including your HOME. BACON - Nick Jonas - Social Dance | @TheOmniMovement #OmniImprov This is improvised salsa blues fusion partner dance to "Bacon" by Nick Jonas (from the album "Last Year Was Complicated") by the Omni Movement.

Imaan continues to share the beauty of social dancing with the world through the Omni Movement and this summer you can find him dancing through local cities from Charlotte, NC to Sacramento, CA! Once he's back in California, the #Omnifiers will be reunited again! 

Feel free to reach out if you want to meet him or spread the Omni Movement within your community!


Copyright © 2017 SabinaChaudhuri.com All rights reserved.

Deepika Rao


CEO of DeeFusion

Deepika Rao


CEO of DeeFusion

March 1st, 2017 

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Meet Deepika Rao-CEO of DeeFusion

 

As an American-born woman of Indian descent, Deepika has always been proud of both the cultures that are instilled in her. She believes that both Americans and Indians have an amazing sense of style, and when these two styles are brought together in the right way, something extraordinary can be created, hence the creation of DeeFusion.

Deepika wishes to create a cultural duality between the traditional elements of Indian fashion and the modern, elegant silhouettes seen in American fashion. Her mission, through DeeFusion, is to blend both cultures in a way that makes them look even better together than apart, therefore allowing an easy transition between the two cultures.

DeeFusion was inspired by Deepika’s ambition to help educate people about Indian culture via fashion by diffusing her creative perspective of her culture into the world, so that everyone can learn to appreciate the true meaning behind the symbols that this beautiful culture embraces. When a woman puts on an ensemble by DeeFusion, she chooses to follow her heart, regardless of what the latest trends are. She becomes fearless in her style and makes a statement with her unique edge. She keeps her eyes and mind open for new ideas and is always seeking to learn more about the world and share her experiences. The DeeFusion woman is a trendsetter in her own way, serving as an inspiration for others to follow.

DeeFusion is a proud sponsor of the Miss Santa Clara Organization which hosts the Miss Santa Clara, Miss Santa Clara's Outstanding Teen and Miss Silicon Valley titles. Be sure to check out some of DeeFusion's fashion during Miss California week in Fresno this June!


Copyright © 2017 SabinaChaudhuri.com All rights reserved.