Meet the lucky winner of our Gaiam TV + Emerging Women Live contest: Suzana Zavila Pejovic. Suzana and a friend will be joining us in San Francisco in October to see Dr. Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Dr. Tererai Trent and more at Emerging Women Live.
We love learning more about the women in our community, so we asked Suzana a few questions about her experience as an emerging woman.
Suzana Zavila Pejovic
EW Contest Winner & Education Activist
How are you emerging in your personal/professional life?
My emerging process began back in March of 1992 with the start of War in former Yugoslavia (Bosnia).
I was a 20-year-old aspiring student at the Faculty of Law, pursuing my interests and living a life full of dreams and hopes. In March of 1992 all of that changed and my life path took a major detour. I was faced with unimaginable life changing circumstances, and the next 2 years of my life were spent in a survival mode.
Finally, in December of 1994 I was able to immigrate to Canada, arriving at the airport with one carry-on bag and 40$ in my pocket. I was starting a new life in a new country, and would be faced with many new challenges.
Fast forward 21 years: I am a proud mother of three amazing sons (ages 8, 14 and 17) and married for 20 years to an incredible life partner. In 2008 I went back to school and obtained a BA degree with distinction in Sociology/Education. Since my graduation I have been employed at the leading University where I hold the position of Program Coordinator.
For the past few years I have been interested in the subject of “slow learners”, children who fall in the educational gap between students with learning disabilities and students with mental retardation. These children are not currently qualified to receive educational assistance like students with learning disabilities and mental retardation are.
My intent is to create an Independent School which will cater to the needs of students categorized as “slow learners,” while offering support to their parents and siblings. I am very passionate about this project as I believe that every child matters and deserves the best possible chance to grow up and become productive and valuable part of our community.
What drew you to want to attend Emerging Women Live?
This is an incredible opportunity to find out how successful business women lead with power and authenticity. It’s an opportunity to learn practical methods and tools for starting and growing a business, and it’s an opportunity to connect with other women participants in order to exchange stories and offer support to each other.
Who is the most influential person in your life and why?
The most influential person in my life is my mother. She is the quiet guiding force in my life and her wise presence has helped me face many of the life challenges . My mother thought me that we can all rise above our circumstances, negative thoughts and complaints and create a beautiful life – a life of purpose.