Gina

Copy of Well make you blush

Hi, my name is, Gina Judge, I currently work as a Lending Specialist for a prominent financial institution in British Columbia, Canada. I started my career in this industry over 3 years ago, in doing so, I quickly developed a passion for helping the general public achieve financial well-being. Today, my goal is to educate youth by providing them with tools and resources to become financially literate.  By equipping youth with the right knowledge and skills, they’ll be empowered to manage money effectively. Over half the population in North America isn’t on pace to have enough money to retire comfortably. If people truly understand the way the financial system works they can effectively plan for the future and take steps to make a better life for themselves. In addition to working full time as a Lending Specialist, I am also pursuing a Bachelors of Commerce degree. I was born and raised in Vancouver and I am of South Asian descent. My mother immigrated to Canada from India in 1994. I have one younger sibling, a sister whose name is Jasmeen.

I was raised by a strong single mother who did everything in her power to provide us with shelter and food. There were moments in our life where she worked two to three jobs at a time, I remember her leaving our house as early as 5:00 AM and returning at 9:00 PM.

My mother was the greatest female influence in my childhood. I was raised by a strong single mother who did everything in her power to provide us with shelter and food. There were moments in our life where she worked two to three jobs at a time, I remember her leaving our house as early as 5:00 AM and returning at 9:00 PM.  To say the least, I didn’t have a traditional childhood and it caused me to grow up quickly. One of my fondest memories is when she would wake me up at 4 AM to feed me, dress me, set an alarm and remind me that it was imperative I get up on time to ensure I wasn’t late for school. At 5 years old, I recognized my mother’s work ethic and wanted nothing more than to relieve the pressure on her shoulders. My mother must have been terrified when she moved to Canada, she had no support system in place, her husband was an alcoholic who was in and out of jail. She didn’t speak a word of English and was raising a child all on her own. But she rose to the occasion without hesitating. I consider her a survivor. As a single mother, she faced a lot of scrutiny in the South Asian community; despite dealing with adversity she continued to tread forward with one goal: providing me with a brighter future – one that she was stripped of.  My mother taught me that while money doesn’t buy happiness, it does matter. Remembering this truth has compelled me to work my tail off towards financial freedom.

Moving into adolescence, my mom remarried early on in her life, as a teenager I was subjected to various forms of abuse as a result of living with my stepdad, who was an alcoholic parent.

Moving into adolescence, my mom remarried early on in her life, as a teenager I was subjected to various forms of abuse as a result of living with my stepdad, who was an alcoholic parent. I experienced various forms of abuse all throughout highschool. For a long time, I felt disconnected from life and I spent most of it on autopilot. Finally, after an altercation one summer night which involved violence from my step-dad, I had enough. I packed all of my belongings and made a hasty decision to move out. This decision completely changed the trajectory of my life. I found myself submerged in a sea of emotions- I was essentially homeless at 18.

Luckily for me, I had two strong female influences who helped pick up my broken pieces. These two friends, Arouj and Shannon came to my rescue in the middle of the night.

Luckily for me, I had two strong female influences who helped pick up my broken pieces. These two friends, Arouj and Shannon came to my rescue in the middle of the night. They opened up doors to each of their homes and assisted me through one of the darkest times in my life, no questions asked. Even though that night was traumatic and toxic, I got through it. It took a month to get back on my feet and to this day, I am extremely grateful for the battle these two helped me conquer 7 years ago.

It was especially tough because in my culture, women do not move out until they’re married. Ironically at 18, I faced the same scrutiny my mother once dealt with in our community.  Since there was no one watching my every move, it was essential I did everything in my power to keep my life afloat. l learnt to be courageous and take risks, these challenges lead to the greatest rewards as I aggressively focused on my career. At the time, I worked in the restaurant industry and became one of the youngest General Managers for a restaurant franchise. My journey through life inspired me to start a blog on Instagram, I want to empower women living in crisis. I want them to know that they aren’t a product of their circumstances.

My journey through life inspired me to start a blog on Instagram, I want to empower women living in crisis. I want them to know that they aren’t a product of their circumstances. 

Chimamanda Adichie once said that “we raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think [could] be a good thing, but for the attention of men.” When I moved out, I became more aware of the world around me and the societal discrepancies between the sexes became more apparent. We live in a world where women are still being mistreated, being discriminated against, being raped and murdered. We’re told that we’re not beautiful enough, smart enough, or good enough. Yet women still continue to turn against one another, we face enough challenges but we continue to make life more difficult for one another. Generally speaking, we understand the struggles of other women more than anyone else does. I want to inspire women to be better with each other so that we can build a community that helps each other succeed.

We all have circumstances in our lives that we use as excuses, if you can find solutions to these problems — you’ll be given the opportunity to succeed. Implement the change you need to make in your life to make your dreams come true. Don’t be afraid of failure, every dreamer will undergo a set of obstacles. It is imperative that you learn from every mistake and continue pursuing your goals, do not allow obstacles to deter you from achieving your purpose.

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