POWERFUL is Anahita’s favorite power word. “Girls and women can be powerful in more ways than physical strength or intellect,” says Anahita. “If a girl has the right tools, the right support system, the right mentorship, she’ll have the confidence to realize her voice and actions are powerful. It will affect her demeanor, facial expressions, kindness … the entire impact she has on the world. I get excited thinking about it.”

Anahita is the “Squad Captain” of Twin Cities Mom Squad, an online hub where women of diverse backgrounds support each other personally and professionally through community outreach and connection. “It’s a platform to be seen, heard and encouraged, and if the women want to work with me directly, I’ll help them with their business strategy.” 

Anahita felt a connection to Shawntan, daughter Jalyn and Girls Are Powerful as Anahita also has a daughter and a program that supports girls. “I co-created K.I.D.S., which stands for Kindness, Independence, Diversity and Strength, with a fellow mom of biracial daughters,” Anahita explains. They aim to ensure that whatever interactions girls have, whether it’s through peer interactions at school or extracurricular activities or out in the community, “we’re projecting messages of kindness, embracing diversity, and ensuring girls know that their inner strength as well as their physical outer strength are very important.” 

Both Mom Squad and K.I.D.S. instill values and leadership tools Anahita wishes she had when she was younger. “I am 100% Persian, a first-generation immigrant,” she explains. “My family moved to the U.S. when I was 2 years old in order to provide us with more and better opportunities than were available to us in Iran. Growing up, I clearly did not look like my peers. I was always wanting to fit in.”

Anahita struggled to relate to her peers – to say the right things, do the right things and dress certain ways. “I didn’t speak up enough,” she says. “That lack of confidence to ask questions and ask for support led into my college years. It took until my early 30’s to really gain true confidence.” She wants her daughter to have different experiences today. “I will not let my 5-year-old tolerate stuff like that. The values I want to instill in her are to be kind, gain leadership experience and help others along the way – no matter what they look like, what their house smells like, or if they’re missing a body part.”

This strong connection compelled Anahita and Mom Squad to join forces with her fellow MomFriends on a campaign called “Moms on a Mission,” financially supporting nonprofit organizations including Girls Are Powerful in 2020. “Organizations like Girls Are Powerful can amplify these messages in many more ways. I also wanted to support Shawntan personally, being a black woman and CEO of this organization. That was important to me.”

Proceeds from this sponsorship funded the general operations budget and added to the scholarship fund to support our 2020 virtual programs.