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Meet the Naperville women making history right now! This blog highlights the stories of Naperville women nominated by the community through the HERstory campaign. 

Dec 28

Meet Setha Nowell

Posted on December 28, 2020 at 11:08 AM by Denise Cartina

HERstory Nomination Setha Nowell

"I would like to Nominate Little Miss Setha Nowell. At the tender age of 10, she has been such a trooper during the COVID-19 struggle. Setha has kept a positive attitude, kept her grades high, and shown leadership skills by encouraging friends and building her YouTube channel. I love her curiosity and her strength."

Nominated by Nefertiti Nowell

Dec 21

Meet Ria Bawiskar

Posted on December 21, 2020 at 8:53 AM by Denise Cartina

HERstory Nomination Ria Bawiskar

"Ria Bawiskar is a Junior at Naperville North Highschool, what an amazing young lady.  Ria is a confident young leader paving the way for girls’ empowerment in STEM education and providing support to students who needs help through her virtual pandemic pods. 

Since the age of nine, Ria has been attending 'Girls Who Code' at University of Illinois at Chicago, a program that teaches computer programming to girls.  In high school, she noticed a gender gap in STEM related fields, and that’s when she decided to do something about it, inspired by Girls Who Code.  She personally went to every elementary schools in district 203 and presented her idea and asked the principals to give her an opportunity to teach basic computer programming to elementary school girls.  She formed a team of likeminded high school girls and guided them for the weekly teaching sessions. That is the birth of her 'Empower' club that teaches STEM to elementary school girls in ten district 203 schools.  Unfazed by the pandemic, she took her club virtual, and now the girls look forward to these interesting sessions every week.  She started virtual pandemic pods this year to help elementary school kids. 

Her goal is to implement her idea in underprivileged Chicago areas and eventually nationwide, a positive engagement for young girls and for high school students. Way to go Ria!"

Nominated by Mahsa Alborzi 

Dec 17

Meet Rosa Chang Claro

Posted on December 17, 2020 at 1:41 PM by Denise Cartina

HERstory Nomination Rosa Chang Claro

"Rosa Chang Claro was born in Lima, Peru, to Chinese-Peruvian parents.  Her career and postgraduate studies took her to Mexico, where she finished her master’s degree in finance and, along with her partner, founded the fair trade company, Blossom Inspirations in 2009. The company was founded under fair trade principles, working directly with artisans from her native Peru and Mexico. 

Her passion for swimming and travel led her to support many charitable initiatives including the NGO Inspira from CNN in 2018 by swimming 14 miles in open water, Por Ellas México, Swim across America, and Laboratoria. 

Since 2013, Rosa and her husband have been raising their two bilingual girls in Naperville. Recently, she published her first bilingual book, Cuyita Wants to Know the World, promoting diversity, inclusion, and empowering women to follow their dreams. The book has been blessed by Pope Francis and inspires both the young and the old to live and love beyond any and all borders. Rosa is an inspiration to her community and on Election Day 2020 earned her US citizenship and proudly voted in her first election. We are all very proud of her accomplishments and her ability to share her warmth, intelligence, laughter, and inclusion even in the toughest of times."

Nominated by Rosemarie Donzanti and Martha Ritter