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Socially responsible, ready to inspire

Emily Haugen, a recent Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) alumna, is making a positive impact as a leader within the non-profit industry. Equipped with an applied education built on work experience, Haugen became motivated to co-found a non-profit society while attending KPU. Her initiative known as She Connects is a sustainable non-profit that provides mentorship to young women through an online-based platform that fosters relationships by learning through the experiences of others, while supporting one another to reach their own personal goals.


She Connects emphasizes the importance of female mentorship

Leena Parhar launched She Connects alongside Emily Haugen, Avneet Sandhu and Meghan Dunn.“Our aim is to foster relationships by connecting women with each other and helping them uplift and support each other,” said Parhar. As a first-generation Canadian, Parhar didn't have a support system when she started university. She is also a first-generation university student, which made her first year at UBC more challenging. “We really wanted to start this organization so that we could act like a big sister or older role model to younger girls,” said Parhar.

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Leaders of Colour: Profiling young racialized leaders as they pursue their own activism and advocacy efforts

Interview: Avneet, Sophia and Leena talk about the impact of mentorship, facing challenges without support and building community.

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Initiative pairing up female high school students with mentors

Interview: Avneet Sandhu, Vice President & Co-founder of She Connects, explains how their mentorship programs are looking for new mentees.


She Connects launches mentorship program for girls

On September 12, 2021, SFU student Meghan Dunn and alumni Avneet Sandhu launched She Connects, alongside Leena Parhar and Emily Haugen. She Connects is a non-profit organization, funded by grants, that runs programs supporting grade 10–12 girls in their preparations for post-high school life. “Our mentors can offer support in the areas of body image, academics, career paths, gap years, and general ‘post-high school’ confusion,” said Dunn. 

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Volunteer initiative connects young women in high school with women who have graduated

“Through our mentorship program,” Surrey resident Avneet Sandhu explained, “we aim to foster relationships where women can share stories, learn from the experiences of others, and support one another to reach their personal goals. Sandhu is a co-founder of She Connects, along with Emily Haugen, Meghan Dunn and Leena Parhar, whose mission is “to connect young women by facilitating relationship building, mentorship, and knowledge transmission, to create a stronger community of empowered women across Canada.”

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She Connects mentorship program searches for girl mentees in Surrey and region

She Connects provides “a safe space for young girls and women, and will allow them to speak to a mentor directly about anything they might need guidance on,” the co-founders emphasize. “Our mentors support mentees with the appropriate resources and tools for success and resiliency. With this mentorship program, we strive to lift women and empower them to be the driving force in their own lives.” (This article was also shared by Peace Arch News).

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Health Sciences student and SFU alumnus create mentorship program to support success for girls, young women

Fourth year Faculty of Health Sciences student Meghan Dunn and SFU alumnus Avneet Sandhu – together with their colleagues Emily Haugen and Leena Parhar – have big dreams. These four B.C. residents designed and launched a mentorship program to support grade 10 to 12 girls in being comfortable, confident, and connected as they transition to the future, whether that’s post-secondary schooling, the workforce, and/or something altogether different.

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She Connects: mentoring and empowering young women and gender-diverse folks

Getting through high school can be enough of a challenge in itself, but at the same time, moving from high school to post-secondary or the workforce is also a difficult adjustment.

“I think that creating those connections between people in high school and people who have graduated, it’s so important for when you want to go and enter that post-high-school world, because sometimes you don’t realize that you’re not prepared for it until you’re launched into it. And then you’re there, and you’re like ‘What do I do now?’” says Emily Haugen, Co-Founder of She Connects & student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.


Rosemary Speirs Leadership Grant - Celebrating our Delegates!

She Connects is a volunteer initiative that provides virtual/online mentorship to young women. Their main goal is to connect young women in high school with women who have graduated, to foster thought exchange, dialogues, and mentorship synergies. She Connects provides a safe space for young girls and women and allows them to speak to a mentor directly about anything they might need guidance on. 

Press Releases


She Connects Official Launch

She Connects is hosting a kickoff event on September 12th at 1:00pm PST. The event is open to the public and will feature a panel of amazing women speakers who will be talking about their experiences with mentorship and the benefits it brought their lives and careers. Speakers include: 

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