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Trailblazers: Tempe

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 Tempe that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Sherry Ruffy

This is me, unedited and raw. I was born in the Philippines, grew up in San Diego, and currently residing in Arizona. As a first-generation Filipina American, I am the product of two different cultures fused into one. The aroma of home-cooked Filipino dishes, holiday parties with never-ending karaoke. Read more>>

Cara Lentz

I’m originally from Indianapolis, Indiana. I transplanted out to Tempe, Arizona to attend ASU in 2015 and have lived here ever since. I went to school and left with a Bachelors in Political Science, a minor and half a dozen certifications. I LOVED school and all the rigors and challenges of it. Read more>>

Lex Salazar

Some of my earliest childhood memories are singing Fleetwood Mac songs in my backyard while my dad played guitar at our family’s dinner parties and bbq’s. I discovered my passion for music at the very beginning of my life and I was lucky enough to have parents who pushed me to sing in front of people so that I would never battle stage fright. My parents listened to classic rock and my siblings listened to hip-hop, rap, pop, and r&b so I got a huge variety of influences. Read more>>

Carly Monson

I’ve been pushing and clicking buttons for as long as I can remember, so it is no surprise, I took an interest in photography at a very young age. I loved it as a hobby and enjoyed learning new ways to use my camera. Eventually, I got too busy with that hobby and I was doing it less and less. Read more>>

Lex Salazar

Some of my earliest childhood memories are singing Fleetwood Mac songs in my backyard while my dad played guitar at our family’s dinner parties and bbq’s. I discovered my passion for music at the very beginning of my life and I was lucky enough to have parents who pushed me to sing in front of people so that I would never battle stage fright. Read more>>

Paige Drysdale

I have always had an interest in the arts. I attended dance lessons, vocal lessons and modeling/acting classes growing up in Sedona, AZ. When I moved from home, I began teaching modeling/acting classes at a school in Denver, I enjoyed my time but there but decided to attend college back in Arizona and learn more about the production side of the business. Read more>>

Erin Murphy

The most defining moment in my story happened shortly after I finished my Master’s degree at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. I had studied geology and biology and intended to continue straight into a Ph.D. I had a longterm boyfriend who was already living in California and accepted an offer to work with a professor at UC-Riverside studying disease ecology. Read more>>

Katie Oertle

My Arbonne journey began about five years ago. I was newly married and expecting our first child. I loved my job as a teacher, but I did not love being 40k in debt with no end in sight. However, I didn’t really feel very concerned about it until our daughter arrived. I say having Annabelle was like a light switch was turned on. Our circumstances were exactly the same. Read more>>

Melissa Knoblock

My oil journey started when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter. I had a really bad cold and didn’t want to use any medication. I found foTERRA Essential oils and the relief I felt was imitated. From that time, I’ve been hooked and wanted to learn more. Now, all I want to do is share what I’ve learned and to hear other people’s stories. Read more>>

Erin Kong

My first involvement in the POC performance community was with New Carpa Collective. I had the opportunity to perform in staged readings and showcase my own personal poetry. Through my experiences with New Carpa Collective, and as a marginalized person living in Phoenix, I realized that the intersection of art and identity was something I wanted to passionately and creatively pursue for the rest of my life. Read more>>

Lauren N. Barelski

I asked the universe what I could do to make more money to support us. One day, I opened up a fortune cookie that read “Make your talents work like a charm” and suddenly the lightbulb turned on. I still had some old crystals from my previous jewelry making days so I got to work. To my surprise, my friends, family, and Instagram followers supported me right away. I’d sell out the minute I posted something online. It’s been. Read more>>

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