What country were you born in, and how long have you lived in Cleveland? 

I was born in Kathmandu, Nepal, and was there until I graduated from College. I came to Cleveland in Jan 2017 to pursue my master’s degree and have been a year since then – more than 4 years now.   

The pioneers and supporters of International Women’s Day believe that “from challenges come change.” What has been the largest challenge in your journey toward personal success? 

If not all, most women face this challenge in their life i.e., having to prove yourself to others again and again and it was/is one of the biggest challenges that I had to face as well. For me, I had to prove myself to my parents so that I can gain their trust to support me for whatever I choose to pursue in life. Many may not understand this but growing up in a patriarchal society with all the stereotypes, they were always skeptical about any contrasting ideas I presented. After a lot of pushback and time, they were convinced that I am capable of doing things my own way and it is absolutely fine.  

You have been nominated for this recognition by another amazing person, proving that we are so much stronger when we support one another. What is one piece of advice you have for women in your community and all over the world? 

It is an honor to be nominated for this recognition. I am still learning from everyone and the only thing I want to tell is to believe in yourself and never put yourself down. If you don’t believe in your own ability or to make decisions yourself, then no one will. There will be instances that will make you question yourself; your belief and you will make many mistakes, but it is all a learning process – that is how you become wiser and strongerAlso, support other women – make each other understand the value we all bring to this world.  

How can the greater Cleveland community encourage, support, and amplify the success of international women? 

 It all comes down to “Practice what you preach”. We hear everyone talking about women empowerment, welcoming internationals and supporting the marginalized community but when we look into the work that is actually done is comparatively lesser. Representation matters a lot – having women of diverse backgrounds as a part of your organization and community makes a huge difference in shaping the City of Cleveland. 

On the other hand, rather than focusing on the superficial level, looking for rooted problems and finding solutions to those problems is more consequential. We can always support, fund or volunteer to the organizations in Cleveland that are working on the issues that significantly affect women, internationals and marginalized communities.