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Trailblazers: Old Town – Mission Valley

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 Old Town – Mission Valley that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Janelle Manzano

Through both these experiences, my interest in the clinical setting started to lean more towards the community, specifically the need for health education for young students. So, after graduation, I applied to do a service year with FoodCorps, an AmeriCorps program. Read more>>

Camille Maldonado

After six months, at the end of my internship, I was already in love with French Polynesia and started a second internship in Bora Bora “The Pearl of The Pacific” in January as a guest relation trainee in a 5-star Resort. Read more>>

Ayanna Arms-Norment and Nathalie Faustino-Kuglen

Our hope is to inspire the youth to look beyond themselves and embrace another culture and language in a more tangible way. We’ll be setting up a guest home in Bali as a space for travelers to come, share meals with us, speak about life and travel and explore Bali in a different way. Read more>>

Lynda Sunshine West

At the age of 51, she found a life coach who helped her discover that she has value and that it was time for her to raise her hand and speak out loud. In doing so, she was met with praise, recognition, and acknowledgment. That led her to speak on stages, interviewing stars on the red carpet, making tv and podcast appearances, and creating her own internet show, Living Live. Read more>>

Alta DeKoven-Skratulia

No one ever saw me again. I was in my room painting away, and nothing changed. I still sit alone in my room and paint away! Its been 25 years doing this “one thing” I am so happy it found me at an early age. Now I have an executive job at a big cosmetic company, and I moonlight dance with my art when I can. Read more>>

Alexandra Lister

I was born and raised in the Chicagoland area. I started dancing at the age of three and continued to do it while growing up. I did every type of dance from ballet to jazz to tap, but my favorite was always ballet. By the age of fourteen, I decided, “hey, I kind of want to do this as a career.” Read more>>

Nicole Manalo

There’s always going to be obstacles and challenges. That’s just how life is built and if we didn’t have any, wouldn’t it be boring if everything was perfect? Challenges just make you stronger. A few of mine have been building patience, taking criticism, social media, and lastly, juggling my career with being a first-time mom. Read more>>

Chloe Zakhour

My family persevered through bombs, protests, and prejudice. I thought we were invisible. I discovered no one is safe from death, disease or heartache, and true strength is in surviving what life throws at you. Maturity is not a protective shield from heartache. My family is more than multicultural, we are survivors of the world. Read more>>

Sandra “Sandee” Bonura

Currently, I am hot and heavy into the biography of John D. Spreckels, the builder of “modern” San Diego at the turn of the 20th century. Hawaiian Sugar money built both San Diego and Coronado and this is an exciting story! As a native San Diegan, I am enthralled at our rich history. Read more>>

Andrea Mutascio Mills

I became certified in Healing Touch in two years and later became a Reiki Master in 2016. I started my practice, Healing Nurses in 2013 and have been helping people heal from illnesses, injuries, side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and more. Helping others find their path to healing has been the most amazing blessing in my life. Read more>>


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