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'Women should break free from the pressures of society'

HOPE: Tanya Compas says black women inpsire her

AWARD-WINNING youth worker, mentor and motivational speaker Tanya Compas is one of the rising trailblazers inspiring women within her community.

After failing her A-Levels at age 18, she got her first taste of work within the charity sector, volunteering in a boys orphanage in rural Peru.

There, her desire to work with young people began, as she spent four months volunteering in Favela Vidigal in Rio de Janeiro to working at a camp in San Francisco for disadvantaged young people.

After coming back from America, Compas worked as a motivational speaker in schools at a charity called WE on behalf of the Mayor of London’s office and now works at The Change Foundation as The Women and Girls Programme Manager.

Q: What’s your source of inspiration?

Tanya Compass: I love that I am genuinely passionate about my work
and I am fuelled by the fact that I want to be the mentor that I wish I had when I was a teenager.

Q: Which women inspire you?

TC: Where do I even begin? I am inspired by the young women I mentor, I am inspired by the writing of Audre Lorde, the legacy of Angela Davis, I am inspired by the incredible trailblazing women I am able to call my friends: Paula Akpan, Liv Little, Kelechi Okafor, Chante Joseph, Nicole Crentsil and more.

Q: What challenges do women face that you’d like to see change in the future?

TC: I’d like to see women break free from the societal pressures and expectations, and the gender binary. They do nothing but hold us back from living our best, most authentic and unapologetic lives. I’d also like to see more representations of black and brown women and femme identifying people in the media and personally, in the charity sector.

Q:What advice would you give to young women following in your footsteps?

TC: Exist loudly. Your voice matters and your existence matters. Don’t forget that your experiences and your journey is exactly that, yours. Find your authentic voice and be confident in the fact that you deserve a seat at the table.

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