From top left to right:
UK: Ellie Cochrane | Shanna Su | Rozina Choudhury
FR: Inès Weinberger | logo| DE: Pia Krüger
US: Diana Chao | Kelly Ha | Sophia Kianni
Since International Women’s Day, UNiDAYS and AllBright have been looking for female-identifying students who have been working hard to make a positive difference to nominate themselves for the Student Woman of the Year Awards 2021.
UNiDAYS, the world’s biggest student affinity network, are hosting a panel of inspiring women to announce the winners on Wednesday 14th April at 6pm GMT. Debbie Wosskow, OBE, Co-Founder of AllBright and Evening Standard’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 will join top business leader and UNiDAYS GM Viviane Paxinos, to lead an open-to-all virtual event on staying focused and achieving goals. They will be joined by entrepreneur Joanne Morales, founder of skin matching underwear brand Nunude, who has built a global multimillion pound company, and confidence coach and self-love activist Tiwalola Ogunlesi. At the end of the session the winners of The Student Woman of the Year Awards 2021 will be announced.
“We received over five thousand inspiring and often heart-breaking entries from what has obviously been a highly challenging year. This is an incredible short-list of talent, all female-identifying student activists, changemakers and entrepreneurs at the beginning of their story. UNiDAYS are so proud and grateful to everyone for taking the time and energy to take part. I challenge brand and business leaders to take note of these names and initiatives for ones to watch in the future.” Viviane Paxinos, GM, UNiDAYS
The entries were shortlisted by a judging panel that includes Viviane Paxinos, GM of UNiDAYS, Anna Jones, Co-Founder of AllBright and former CEO of Hearst Magazines UK and Debbie Wosskow, Co-Founder of AllBright and the Evening Standard’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2018. The winners will receive mentoring by the founders of AllBright and their network.
"Championing the work and voices of women is at the heart of everything we do at AllBright. We hope that by shining a light on the work of these incredible young women, it will also inspire others to come forward and make an impact. These students are the change makers of the future and we can’t wait to watch their next steps” Debbie Wosskow, Co-Founder of AllBright.
UNiDAYS shall be creating a series of inspirational stories based around the Student Woman of the Year finalists with motivational speakers and coaches throughout the year. Follow their Instagram for details.
The nominees for Student Woman of the Year 2021 are:
Shanna Su | @consciousedinburgh | www.consciousedinburgh.com
I co-founded Conscious Edinburgh, a student-led mental health charity which aims to provide a safe space for students to speak up about their mental health. Over the past 2 years, Conscious has raised over £30,000 for different national mental health charities as well as funded over 30 students to be trained in mental health first aid. I have designed and delivered a mental health first aid workshop to educate students on the mental health signs to look out for in their peers and what to do in those situations.
Rozina Choudhury | @RYCreations | @covidresponse
I set up a volunteering programme at the beginning of the pandemic which grew into a group of over 100 students at my university helping frontline workers with childcare, research, admin, groceries and more. We made and delivered over 10,000 care packages to frontline NHS staff at our university hospital and local surrounding trusts. I carried out this service from March to September whilst studying medicine in my final year.
Ellie Cochrane | @elliecochrane | @sexpressionuk | https://sexpression.org.uk/
Elected to the National Committee of Sexpression:UK and SKIP, two inspirational student-led charities, I have run an award winning global health campaign and a collaborative Sexual Health Week campaign organising efforts across 6 charities. Representing Sexpression:UK I have spoken to the BBC, The Times, The Independent and The Metro on topics relating to sexual health and reproductive rights and about the need for comprehensive and inclusive relationships and sex education. I have also recently founded the Student and Trainee Association of Sexual Health and HIV which will strive to foster an interest amongst those early in their medical careers by facilitating participation in research and hosting careers and educational events.
Sophia Kianni | @sophiakianni | https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophia_Kianni
I am a 19 year old Iranian-American climate activist. This year, I founded Climate Cardinals, an international nonprofit with 8,000 volunteers in 41 countries that works to make climate education more accessible to people who don’t speak English; over the past few months, we have translated over 500,000 words of climate information into 100 languages. I was also recently chosen as the youngest member of the United Nations Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change, where I advise the UN on how they can increase youth participation in climate change discussions.
Kelly Ha | @iamnotavirus | https://www.iamnotavirus.info/
In 2020, I partnered with Mike Keo to address the rise of anti-Asian discrimination and racism during the time of COVID through our media campaign, #IAmNotAVirus. Since then, I have worked to destigmatize mental illness in the Asian community and make resources accessible as well as created an Asian-American identities workbook that is now utilized in over 20 universities in the country. We just introduced a bill with bipartisan support in Connecticut to mandate Asian studies high schools. This will be the first bill in the country.
Diana Chao | @Dizzodin | www.LetterstoStrangers.org
When I was 13, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. To heal, I wrote anonymous letters to strangers - I realized that writing is humanity distilled into ink. So in 10th grade, I founded Letters to Strangers (L2S). L2S is now the largest global youth-for-youth mental health nonprofit, destigmatizing mental illness and increasing access to treatment. We’ve impacted over 35,000 people in over twenty countries with letter exchanges, science-informed education (including the world’s first youth-for-youth mental health guidebook), and policy-based advocacy. 75% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 24. I hope to make that number zero.
Elizabeth Payne | @libaaaby | @plan_australia
I’m a dedicated student committed to achieving gender equality. As a youth activist for Plan International Australia I co-authored ‘A Better Normal: Girls Call for a Revolutionary Reset’ which was presented at the 75th United Nations General Assembly in September. I am also the co-president of the Women’s Collective at Macquarie University, and was successful in saving the gender studies major from being cut from the university offerings. I have also published articles in The Guardian, and the Woman’s Agenda on period poverty, and youth leadership, with my most recent for 9Honey on the culture of sexual violence.
Vivian Ly | @christmasonthestreets | christmasonthestreets.com
In 2016, Roseanne started her own organisation called Christmas on the Streets after noticing a lack of support for men and women experiencing homelessness. Whilst juggling full time study and work, Roseanne goes out to the city weekly to provide necessities and companionship to our friends on the streets with volunteers who have expressed interest in the COTS movement.
Joey Lim |@joey_lim | @ywasv_initiative
I have recently co-founded Young Women Against Sexual Violence (YWASV) in October 2020 at the age of 20. I started this organisation because I had personally been raped by a guy friend and realised the prevalence of it among my friends. I wanted to make a change and do something. I wanted to ensure no woman or girl feels like they are alone, blaming themselves for the situation and feeling shame and guilt like how I felt. YWASV has run 5 community events, it's a platform to allow women sharing their stories and speak about their experience to the public with heartwarming testimonies from men and women.
Anna Katharina Schimitzek / @allaroundbyanna
Anna is a passionate advocate for female empowerment and equality in the workplace, declaring "war on gender roles". Rosaroter Himmel is the podcast that Anna created to interview women in male-dominated professions after experiencing her own prejudices while studying to become a pilot.
Pia Kruger / @arschbrueste
After losing her sister to breast cancer at just 32, Pia published the book "Mama, aren't breasts annoying!" to bring awareness to the courageous stories of those also affected. 100% of the proceeds go to projects that support cancer patients while Pia also works passionately to raise awareness at medical conferences in association with cancer charity Pink Ribbon.
Aylin Shakibi / @women.uncover / https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WWbL14eg3MA
Aylin created the free Wover app, designed to help women connect with each other and certified drivers to get home safely when travelling alone. Wover featured in the top ten of the BPW-Businessplan competition.
Oceane Bourguelle / @Oceane_blle
To support her local community during this challenging year, Student Association President Oceane organised food and hygiene packages, masks, financial aid and learning support for her student community.
Olga Shuster / @olgaspors
Born deaf, Olga passionately campaigns for equality and accessibility for the deaf community and teaches sign language to students
Inès Weinberger / @gogreen_box_
Inès started Go Green Box, a planet-saving service that makes eco-friendly products more accessible to all by offering them at half the price, with advice - all alongside a challenging Law degree.