Prior to establishing Find Your Power in 2016, Ivy’s journey began in Durban, South Africa, where she received her Master’s degree in Development Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. While completing her thesis research on gender-based violence and human security in Manenburg, Ivy saw the challenges faced by local women due to lack of agency.
Learning from survivors of domestic abuse at the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children, Ivy witnessed how minimal job skills and education hinder the financial independence of many of the women, ultimately trapping them in a cycle of abuse.
Inspired by the resilience, positivity, and hope of these women, Ivy was driven to begin developing strategies that could connect these women, and others like them locally and around the world, to resources that would empower and sustain their independence.
It wasn’t long after returning to the US, before Ivy traded in her job at the University of St. Thomas to pursue her dream of starting a nonprofit. The first step was enrolling in a Social Entrepreneurship course put on by Copenhagen Business School, where she led a fantastic team of people from all over the world with a shared passion for empowering women. It was here that many vital ideas and connections were formed, including the initial business plan for the organization.
As ideas continued to flourish over the years, Ivy led Find Your Power into the hands of her enthusiastic team of interns and volunteers, and talented and passionate board members. Currently, Ivy and her team are focused on building an online resource library for women in the Twin Cities, leading their in-person empowerment workshops, and amplifying marginalized voices on their social media campaigns.