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Trailblazers: Balboa Park & Hillcrest

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 Balboa Park & Hillcrest that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Mariela Shibley

Throughout the years, I have taught courses at different universities throughout San Diego, and I am often invited to present lectures and training on various mental health topics, including at the annual conference of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Read more>>

The Tasty Babe

When I first started, I focused solely on food photography and it wasn’t until about six months in that I started to share a glimpse of who’s behind the camera. I’ve always been a super private person and have never been one to over share. Read more>>

Hailey Knott

I can remember selling things from a very young age. I lived in a suburb, and during the summer I used to set up lemonade or little snack stands for the neighborhood to purchase. No one ever did except for my parents, but I remember always being very money-motivated and persuasive. Read more>>

Leah Willis

Our hope was to create an online collection for women to share their stories and for others to find peace and comfort in them. So, over the course of a year, our team worked together to collect different essays, poems, and art ranging across a broad spectrum of topics and then craft and curate them in a visual way. Read more>>

Michelle Barber

With that mindset I’m always ready for what life has to offer while being humble. After much deliberation about my future, I’ve decided I will be furthering my education in Acting at a performing arts school. Read more>>

Rebecca Smith

A mentor recently said, “Rebecca, your career reminds me of all your moving around, when you were growing up.” Like the gypsies, I don’t always get to be comfortable where I end up, but these transitions keep me resilient as a professional. Read more>>

Aisha Mahler Salinas

I have been a licensed hairstylist since 2011, however, growing up with a mother who was a cosmetology teacher I have always done hair my whole life. I started out in this industry working as an hourly employee trying to gain as much experience and training as possible. Read more>>

Joey Alvarez

It’s been a battle but I wouldn’t take it back cause it’s made me stronger then the week depressed insecure boy I was once. I have grown and still growing each day to a better life. I can actually think and know what I want in life and who and what I deserve. Read more>>

Alyssa Gaspar

I have always loved photography in high school and after a failed relationship I felt I hit rock bottom. I wanted to get out of it so I started to go out and take pictures. Eventually I met people like my business partner Nai from LoveAlways productions who gave me my biggest break and made me her designated photographer for her magazine. Read more>>

nicole celpa

I think of myself as having a creative mind and this led me to the hair industry. I have been working in the hair industry since 2001 and my passion for knowledge and finding ways to be creative has never stopped. In 2010, I moved to San Diego. Read more>>

Jamie Hann

I spent a solid 5 months doing the majority of my healing, before being able to return to doing any type of work, which had lead me to doing lash extensions and photo shoots, both of which I’m greatly enjoying! Read more>>


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