Here’s How Danielle Fontus is Helping Women Live a Daring Life

In light of women’s history month, I wanted to shed light on an amazing individual who created a platform for women to lives their best social life. Danielle Fontus is the creator of She Dares, a women’s adventure community, where she helps women step outside of their comfort zones through experiences, from happy hour to horseback riding. Let’s find out more about Dani!

Tell me about yourself 

I may have also been spotted in a few adventures myself like Carnival in Trinidad and jet skiing in Tobago. I love to travel, eat, dance, play and indulge in whatever tickles my fancy.

Since graduating from Emory University in 2007, I have found a home in hospitality. I am now transitioning into the area of retreat planning while building my personal brand as an adventure influence.

Where were you 6 months after graduation?

I graduated on May 14, 2007 and started a job at a tutoring center in September thanks to a friend. It seemed like a good idea – I went to school with the intention of being a child psychologist. So the position made sense. For my first job, it was decent. I lived at home with my mom, and my loans were in deferment, so bills were minimal. In some ways, I was living my own piece of the post college dream. Yet there was a little piece inside of me that was restless and unsatisfied. I didn’t LOVE what I was doing, and I was craving more and starting to feel stifled. Come November 2007 (6 months after graduation), I was trying to figure out how to get out of my job and didn’t have a plan for what was next.

Fast forward to December 2007, I was laid off because the company downsized, which was such a serendipitous blessing for me. At the beginning of 2008 I spent 6 weeks in Trinidad that absolutely changed my life.

What prompted you to start She Dares?

During my time in Trinidad, I was so awestruck that I really wanted to share it with those who had never experienced anything like it. That year I started Her Journey travel magazine, which was an enhanced rebirth of the newsletter I used to send to my college friends to motivate us through those days when college life got real.
After doing that for a while, I wanted to CREATE these experiences instead of just writing about them. After doing a lot of these experiences alone, I realized that I wanted to find more daring women like me, I created She Dares to help form genuine connections in the best way I know how through fun and adventure. I LOVE meeting new people and finding out about them and I LOVE a good adventure. Putting those two things together, She Dares was born.

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On The Rise: Brittiney Jones

IMG_6921Brittiney Jones is not a stranger to life obstacles. In fact when life gave her lemons, she made the best lemonade out of it and ended up founding her own non-profit organization. While in High School, Brittiney was emancipated at an early age and began paying bills, essentially becoming an adult. It was while working with a case worker she realized  that there were not a lot of resources for people similar to her.  Upon completing her bachelors from Western Michigan University, she moved to Chicago and  founded Chicago Youth Opportunities Initiative, an organization serving youth who are wards of the state in Chicago. While maintaining a full-time role she  managed to  recruit 7 Board Members, 4 Associate Board members and over 20 mentors to the nonprofit.  Let’s find out more about Brittiney.

  1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan. I attended Michigan State University my first year out of High School for 3 years and finished at Western Michigan University due to some financial hardships. Looking back I’m so glad I had the experience to attend a large school and a smaller university. There’s so many perks to each and I’ve learned so much along the way. Currently I’m working in Chicago for a technology company within Human Resources. I enjoy traveling, learning new things and the outdoors.

  1. Where were you 6 months after college?

Six months after college I began working in sales for a technology company. I created a pretty easy transition for myself. During my last semester I attended our universities career fair where I passed around my business card, resume and interviewed on the spot with a variety of different companies. Shortly after I had some offer’s coming my way and secured a job. I knew early on that I had to began to plan for the next step in my life.

  1. How did you get into the HR field?

While working at my prior company I was contacted by a recruiter through LinkedIn with the opportunity to join a start-up tech company. At the time the company was working out of an incubator with a little over 32 employees and looking to scale. I accepted the job offer because I wanted to have the opportunity to be apart of a company from the ground up, see things happen in real-time and be able to create an impact within the organization. During my time working I began to take on special projects and proved to my CEO that I was deserving then managed to transition from sales to a promotion to a role focused on talent acquisition and development. I wanted to be challenged and further my skill set, I sought out an opportunity with greater responsibilities and landed a managerial talent acquisition role with a myfirst start-up organization.

  1. You are a serial entrepreneur, how do you stay on top of things while managing your personal life?

I use a philosophy called Eat the Frog First. It’s about doing what you don’t want to do first and getting that out the way. I’m a huge fan of list. I love the idea of writing things down and crossing them off as they get completed. I also love calendar invitations. My life both personal and professionally are driven by Google calendar invites. Friends will send me calendar invites for dinner, festivals, the beach and I’ll block off my personal time based on priorities like CYOI, emails, reading etc. I’ve also been looking into a new app called Sloth to focus. It’s a timer and I use it like a game.

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Female Latin Web Developer Finds Her Inner Geek & Creates Networking App.

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Technology is here to stay and Raygrid Calderon is here to be part of it. She is the pioneer behind dreemkacher,  an application created to make more opportunity for innovators on the rise to seek business placement. When she realized that there wasn’t a platform for the truly talented to showcase their work conveniently, Raygrid put her skills together and created DreemKacher.With use of a visual resume, so to speak, anyone can express what their capabilities are and Rayrgid takes pride in creating something that can not only elevate one’s career but also simplify it. Raygrid is in a pool of very few Latinas and females who are advancing the way we use technology.Lets find out more about Raygrid.

 

Where were you 6 months after college?

Six months after college I was doing something completely unrelated to now. While I was going to college I was working as a Medical Assistant so I was able to move up at the company I worked for. About 2 months after graduating I worked as an HIV Counselor.

DREEMKACHER is a clever name, what was your thought process when deciding the name?
Thank you! I wanted a name that captured the essence of what I was trying to create. I literally said to myself the app is for dreamers and…catchers.

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.26.00 PMWe all stumble at some point of our lives, was there ever a time during the creation of DREEMKACHER where you wanted to give up? What did you learn from it?
Great question, the funny thing is as many times as it made “sense” to quit whether it was because of financial reasons or my relationships with loved ones, throughout all the hurdles in my heart I never wanted quit. The feeling I get when I think of dreemkacher is indescribable as if it’s something I can’t walk away from….. Ever. I learned to be patient. My motto is life’s rejection is the universes protection.

What does my freshman year of life means to you?
I literally always say my freshman year of life was 2012. It took me a tremendous amount of pain, amazing highs and awful lows and even stillness to really understand who I am and I promise you nothing was in vain. I learned what ticks me and what stunts my growth and I truly believe that’s because of all my hurdles.

What peaked your interest to start coding?
I sort of bumped into it. My parents bought me my first computer when I was about 13 and they couldn’t put it together so I had to and once it was built I became interested, somewhat obsessive in the logistics of it all. Which led to web developing, hacks and program building which then led to app developing.
How important is it that out this generation understands the value of coding?

It’s a bittersweet time for this generation. As technology advances other creatives phase out. It’s important to stay ahead. Even if you choose a career path totally unrelated to technology, technology will not go away. It’s become a part of our daily lives. With that being said coding should just be as normal as washing dishes. You might not do it everyday or maybe even have to do it at all but it’s something everyone should be introduced to at some point.

How can we ensure that young girls are not intimidated by learning technology?
Technology is a curriculum that should be introduced very early. I believe by the age of 8 children should be familiar with basic tools and programs. If we instill this idea of tech savvy being the norm, young people wouldn’t feel intimidated by it as they age.

Where do you see the app in the next couple of years?
My ultimate goal is to create a platform that exceeds just connecting consumers and customers. I also want to help build start-ups from the ground up.

What do you want people using your app to take away from it?
To learn the difference between marketing/branding a business and being a popular “@”.

If you were to write a letter to your younger self about pursuing your dream what would you tell her?
I would simply say NEVER GIVE UP if it’s what you love.

Complete the sentence
When I am not working on DK you can find me
Reading.
My favorite quote of all time is …

The highest form of success is to help others succeed

I can’t go a day without having….
A caramel latte

My happy dance move is…
Pat Pat dance from Little Einsteins

Stay connected with Raygrid
Twitter: @DreemKacher
Instagram: @DreemKacher
Facebook PageDreem Kacher