(30Fresh) Aces: Anisa Ghadrshenas

Oh you thought it was over?!?

The interview series I started last month during 30Fresh has resonated so well with readers that I've decided to extend the series indefinitely! You met my best friends last month, but from now on you'll hear from people I admire who are doing amazing things for their community and world. To see all of these interviews, look for the Aces tag.

Today's interview is actually one that should have gone live during 30Fresh but alas, working internationally and life got in the way. Meet another one of my bests, Anisa Ghadrshenas!

Being ridiculous 

How we met (her version):

So I think the very first time we met was at GirlsNFootball - but I would say you and I really got to know each other through our time at Banyan Branch - when you guys sponsored the Mona Foundation project, and through various other social and community events/projects that we did together, or supported each other on (THAW fashion show, etc.) I'd also say that just in general, one of the things that attracted me to you was your community orientation - you've always made a point to support the people and causes that matter to you, and in my own way, this has been the cornerstone of everything I've ever wanted to do with my life, so I think that's why we became friends. Each time we struggled, one of us would get the other person back on track. There are so many conversations that I have had with you that I am grateful for, and that put things into perspective for me. But I digress :)

I'd like to add:

We met at a random girls' get together but what really brought us together was finding our sense of purpose, in community service and a shared admiration for some of the world's best leaders. Anisa's got the biggest heart and warmest energy of anyone I know. Talk to anyone who knows her and they wouldn't hesitate to say the same thing. While I know working in Africa is your dream job and an incredible opportunity, there's definitely an unfillable void back here in the States. I cherish our conversations and time we do get to spend together greatly. Your intelligence and ambition paired with your deep-seeded passion for giving back to the world are truly unmatched.

What's on your playlist right now?

My playlist right now is full of everything that reminds me of Seattle:

  • Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
  • Kris Orlowski
  • Other Lives
  • Blue Scholars
  • Mumford and Sons
  • Arcade Fire
  • Allen Stone
  • Matt Costa
  • Jack Johnson :)

Describe your style.

I surround myself with ladies who have a fierce and bold aptitude for fashion, and I love the ideas I get from each of them. However, I would say that my style tends to be pretty classic, and while I will occasionally get out of my comfort zone with the bright cardigan, or the bold-colored heels, I usually stick with the classic, famine lines that I'm most comfortable in. While I've been known to splurge on the occasional dress or handbag, most of my most treasured pieces are ones that I have found at consignment shops, thrift shops, or have been gifted to me by my girlfriends - one of a kind, simple, classic.

Anisa-Ghadrshenas-Jess-Estrada
Anisa-Ghadrshenas-Jess-Estrada

Anisa made Coachella an unforgettable experience

Who inspires you?

I feel very fortunate that in all my circles, I am surrounded by some of the greatest people on this planet. I sometimes stop and think to myself, how did I get so lucky? I have friends who are entrepreneurs, designers, teachers, writers, philanthropists, scientists, filmmakers, homemakers - no one doing the same thing, but all following their the beat of their own drum. I find constant inspiration in watching them take intelligent and bold risks to accomplish something great in the world. I am so grateful for their example, their encouragement and in what I believe is a collection action that will make this world a better place. This is what keeps me on my path. This is what I live for.

What are you reading? 

Since moving to Kenya, I've been reading a lot about the history of many of the countries I travel through. Some of my favorites have been: "It's our turn to eat" about Kenya, "We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families" about Rwanda, and " The teeth may smile but the heart does not forget" about Uganda. My daily reads include: Harvard Business Review, Huffington Post Women's Page, and Co.Exist.

What are you most excited about in the coming months?

The coming months are a little uncertain for me right now. I've been living in Kenya for almost a year and half working with the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and I love my work. But I'm starting to think about what the next steps are for me, both professionally and personally, and while I'm not entirely sure what that looks like, I feel like there are infinite possibilities, and I trust that with hard work, faith, and love, all will unfold as it's meant to.

Thank you!

Read all of my Aces interviews here.