Noteworthy Women

Encouraging and Empowering Remarkable Women

Author: bzapata

Born This Way Foundation: Empowering Youth & Inspiring Bravery

In previous years, described as eccentric, dramatic and known to make some audience members question everything from her style to her music video story-lines, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta more popularly known as Lady Gaga has always been a topic of discussion.

This Feature Friday post will not be centered around Lady Gaga’s wonderful creativity and uniqueness but instead will focus on the artist’s endless efforts to give back. Lady Gaga’s philanthropic and charity work is predominantly aimed to help at-risk youth struggling through issues involving depression, LGBTQ rights, and homelessness among many others.

It could be said that the creation of the Born This Way Foundation is one of Lady Gaga’s highest achievements. The foundation was started in 2012 alongside her mother and its efforts can be summed up as genuinely caring and progressive focused on providing the youth with tools that will help them succeed in our society.

“Born This Way Foundation is committed to supporting the wellness of young people and empowering them to create a kinder and braver world. To achieve these goals, Born This Way Foundation leverages rigorous academic research and authentic partnerships in order to provide young people with kinder communities, improved mental health resources, and more positive environments – online and offline.”


Lady Gaga has always been a strong advocate of individuality and the search for one’s true self. Gaga’s foundation aims to catalyze the endless potential today’s youth has by providing the resources that will help members with projects and ideas that might not be possible to realize otherwise. Gaga sees the importance of acknowledging that there are obstacles for youth, specifically those who might be oppressed due to their gender, sexuality, beliefs, and economic or social standing.

As a society we wish to see the youth succeed and achieve great things, whether it be in a political, artistic, or social justice realm, but there are times we fail to provide sufficient support for this to be possible. Teens and young adults face a tremendous amount of pressure to contribute to our world from older generations. There are certain situations that can cause their visions or dreams to be put on hold, and in some cases this leads to a great amount of potential being wasted.

There are millions of undiscovered artists, scholars, engineers, lawyers, and any other profession you can think of.  Some of them will remain that way due to unfavorable circumstances involving their social environment, living conditions, or economic difficulties. This is exactly what Gaga’s foundation wishes to avoid. The Born This Way Foundation’s efforts have given thousands of young men and women the opportunity to connect with the resources and networks they need in order to share their creativity and brain power with their communities and the rest of the world. The future belongs to the youth, and it is women like Lady Gaga that have a clear understanding of all the positivity that can result from empowering the youth to reach their dreams.

Make sure to visit the foundation’s website for further information on events and more inspiring content!

Shakira: The Philanthropist

Many of us know Shakira for her amazing singing and belly dancing skills, but did you know that the Colombian superstar is also a huge advocate and founder of non-profit organizations?

Born in Barranquilla, Colombia in 1977 to a Colombian mother and Lebanese father, Shakira comes from a very multicultural background. She started writing music at an early age, her first album debuted in 1995 and has experienced nothing but success ever since.

Although Shakira is a great singer, songwriter, performer and dancer, it is her involvement in philanthropic work that is truly inspirational.

According to her official website, “Shakira’s humanitarian and advocacy work is focused on universal education and early childhood development, particularly the health, nutrition and stimulation of children who are not yet in school.”

Shakira’s Piez Descalzos foundation is dedicated to bettering the lives of children in Colombia by helping them receive a better education as well as the resources needed for maintaining good nutrition and health standards. The foundation has helped create several schools that all have a set of basic guidelines that aim to improve the overall standard of living of children in need. There is a belief that involving these children in the programs offered at the institutions will contribute to the overall improvement of the general community.  According to their website, “more than 10.000 children and 67.000  youths and adults benefited” from their programs. 

A second non-profit organization that Shakira is  an active member of is the ALAS Foundation, which was started by some of the most recognized Latin American artists, business leaders, and intellectuals. This foundation focuses on early childhood development because they believe that it is one of the most effective ways to fight against poverty.

Lastly, Shakira is a part of UNICEF through her appointment as a Goodwill Ambassador. UNICEF focuses on the rights of children, with an emphasis on providing education for children all across the globe. Shakira has been an ambassador since 2003 and within some of her trips she has lead ” two global fundraising campaigns to help life-saving supplies reach the world’s most impoverished and at-risk children.” (

It is not only impressive but also inspiring to learn that a celebrity as popular as Shakira has such a great involvement in non-profit organizations that focus on children. There are millions of women in our world who are doing great things for the better of their cultures, communities, families, and the rest of the world. We all know we come in all shapes and sizes but so does the manner in which we decide to help and inspire others. Shakira is able to do both, not only through her music but through her humanitarian work. That is something Noteworthy Women applauds and we wish to continue to share the stories of these wonderful women with our readers.


Traveling the Entire Globe in Less Than 2 Years

Who hasn’t dreamed of traveling the world? Experiencing new places and cultures,  backpacking through tremendous mountains or enjoying the beauty of white sand beaches. There’s an endless amount of opportunities when it comes to the adventures of being a traveler.

At the age of 27, Cassie De Pecol has become the youngest person to travel to all the countries in the world. De Pecol spent a little over 18 months traveling the globe, visiting country after country.  She is the first woman to achieve this amazing task. Aside from being a woman, she is also American, born in the state of Connecticut.

Her travels began in her college years when she studied abroad to Costa Rica and Nicaragua. It was in 2010 when she and her brother decided to begin to see more of the world. It was a sum of  $2,000  that enabled her to begin her travels. She traveled to countries in Europe and later Turkey. Aside from the money she initially saved she was able to continue to travel through working jobs at eco B&B’s and resorts. At the end of this two year trip, De Pecol visited around 25 countries. De Pecol titled her entire travel story “Expedition 196” and was able to share her story at The World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon.

A lot of readers who have come across her story are curious as to how a journey as large as Expedition 196 was able to happen financially. De Pecol worked in many of the countries she visited throughout the 18 months of travel. The majority of funding came from sponsors that believed her passion and story should be shared with the rest of the world.

Nothing is impossible, and De Pecol is a living example of this. With lots of effort and self-motivation, she was able to fulfill her dream of getting to know more of the world we live in. It is spectacular women like herself that remind us that there is always a way to achieve your goals. Not only did she live out her dream, but she became an inspiration to everyone who reads her story.

Noteworthy Women encourages everyone, both men and women to take the stories of remarkable women such as Cassie De Pecol and use them as motivational reminders that we should always search for more: more knowledge, more meaningful experiences, and more growth. We congratulate Cassie on her amazing achievement and can’t wait to hear what’s next on her agenda!

You can follow Cassie’s Instagram to take a look at some of her travel pictures! You an also check out her Twitter!

Showtime Sunday: Pray the Devil Back to Hell

Showtime Sunday will be made up of Noteworthy Women’s selection of films that include strong female roles either on camera or behind the scenes, and in this particular case, this film has both. Released in 2008, Pray the Devil Back to Hell is a documentary that focuses on the struggles and issues that occurred in Liberia through the course of the Second Liberian Civil War (1999-2003). One of the reasons why this film is so extraordinary is because of the inspirational women that made this film a possibility. Not only was the film directed and produced by women, the story itself highlights the efforts of the “Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace”.

The director of this eye-opening film is Gini Reticker.   Much of her career involved making films that have a focus on women and their involvement in efforts for social justice and human rights. You can read a quick description of her previous work and recognition here.

The producer of the film is Abigail E. Disney, she is a filmmaker who is also quite familiar with making films that focus on the same category of social justice issues.  Abigail is not only a recognized producer and director she has the honor of being an alumna of Yale, Stanford, and Colombia.

Together these women are the co-founders of Fork Films ” a New York-based production company that seeks to shed light, evoke compassion, stir action and build peace. She is the President and CEO, and Reticker is the Chief Creative Officer.” (Fork Films About Page)

As stated before, the film revolves around the social justice group Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace. This group was organized under the leadership of many influential African women, among them is Leymah Gbowee, a recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. Under her leadership, women in Liberia gathered in a sequence of peaceful protests that aimed to end the civil war. One of the most meaningful aspects of this movement was that the women that gathered came from different religions, something that in other cases would have made the cause more difficult to achieve. These women became a part of something that wanted peace as an end. Thousands of both Muslim and Christian women would go out and risk their lives by protesting and organizing sit-ins outside the Presidential Palace. While their country was being overrun by violence and fear, these women were able to support and encourage each other in a manner that lifted their voices higher than the noises of the war. They were able to fight violence with peace and ultimately created the beginning to a Liberia more empowered by women. Their efforts went so far that Liberia is currently under the Presidency of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, their first female President.

Noteworthy Women encourages our readers to go out and look for pieces such as Pray the Devil Back to Hell in order to be more aware of the struggles and accomplishments of spectacular women around the world! If you would like to know a little more about the film you can access a quick trailer or visit the official film website to find out where you can stream the entire film.



Feature Friday: Rupi Kaur

We’re starting off this weekend with the very first of what we hope to be a collection of “Feature Friday” posts. Feature Friday is Noteworthy Women’s approach to providing our followers with examples of remarkable women all over the world that embody every characteristic of a “Noteworthy Woman”.

Our first feature is Rupi Kaur, a 24 year old Canadian artist and poet that has recently become widely popular due to the publication of her debut book titled “Milk and Honey”. Kaur was born in Punjab, India but moved to Toronto at the age of 4. During her teen years, she performed spoken word at a number of different locations. These performances were based on poetry, something she was constantly writing.

Rupi Kaur Photo by: Baljit from Toronto DesiDiaries

One of the reasons why Kaur is such a compelling young woman is because of the frankness with which she expresses herself through her poetry and art. Milk and Honey is a series of poems that speak about a variety of topics such as love, womanhood, sexuality, trauma, and healing. The book is divided into four sections: “the hurting”, “the loving”, “the breaking”, and “the healing”. While some authors tend to shy away from portraying the realities of heartbreak, loss, and suffering, Kaur’s words allow readers to dive into the sometimes crude experiences that women face on a daily basis. It is perhaps the relatability of the experiences described in her book that have made this work such a success. Not only was Milk and Honey on the New York Times Best Seller list for months, it gained viral recognition online through social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Kaur’s work hasn’t always been the subject of recognition and praise. Anytime an artist or individual (in this case a young Canadian woman with Indian heritage) seeks to speak out about taboo subjects, they are more likely then not going to face criticisms. This is yet another reason why Kaur has been a source of inspiration for young women looking to discover themselves and the world around them. Kaur refused to shy away from what she knew could cause controversy for a general audience. Instead, she passionately and unapologetically expresses herself, her views, and her experiences; something that every woman should have the right to do, regardless of what others may think.

Noteworthy Women applauds Rupi Kaur for having the courage to express what it’s really like to be a woman and for sharing such an important piece of poetic work. We hope her success will help her continue to grow as an artist as well as help others in their journey to self-discovery.

Make sure to show your support for our very first Feature Friday: Rupi Kaur by following her social media sites all linked above!

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