#ImAGirlBoss: Kavita Mehra

Recycled-Novelty-ImAGirlBoss-Kavita-Mehra-by-Whitney-Leigh-Young

NAME: KAVITA MEHRA
CITY: JERSEY CITY, NJ
HOMETOWN: CARTERET, NJ
INDUSTRY: NONPROFIT 
SIGN: GEMINI
NOMINATED BY: JOYA DASS
TWITTER: @kavitamehra
INSTAGRAM: @kavmehra
WEBSITE: www.KavitaMehra.com

Tell us what you do!

I’ve spent nearly 15 years in the nonprofit sector, and I’m currently the Chief Transformation Officer for Boys & Girls Club of Newark (BGCN) — the first in the organization’s 78-year history, and one amongst the few across the 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs across the nation. My role requires me to work directly with the Chief Executive Officer to grow and manage all aspects of the organization.

Did you go to college? If so, where?

Indeed. New York University followed by Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”? (i.e. movie star, doctor, unicorn, etc…)

My sister had a t-shirt that I absolutely loved—it had Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech inscribed on the back. When I was very young, I was inspired by Dr. King’s profound contributions, and I knew I wanted to work in a space that addressed a greater social issue.

How did you get to where you are now? Tell us your story!

I am far from being “there.” But someone once told me that failure teaches more than success. I hold that to be true, and have tried to learn from each failed experience. I’ve also observed and listened closely to those I admire, and I’ve tried to emulate their pursuit of success.

Any obstacles along the way?

Each of us has faced obstacles. During my formative years, I encountered a considerable amount of racism, which, at times turned into violent experiences. My family came from humble means. I started working when I was 14, and by 16, I had already worked a 100+ hour week. However, I wouldn’t change a thing. Everything I have experienced defines my life, and reaffirms my commitment to the nonprofit sector.

Recycled-Novelty-ImAGirlBoss-Kavita-Mehra-by-Whitney-Leigh-Young-2

Who is your idol?

That’s a tough question, as I am not sure I have an idol. There are people in my life that I view with a sense of veneration, and it is those individuals I choose to keep close. I do, however, have my fair share of girl crushes, and that list is long and distinguished. Individuals who have influenced my life include my mom and my better half—they are my inspiration in all that I do.

Three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are:

Grit, hustle, and staying humble (and hungry).

Where would you like to be in five years?

Success is a moving target. I am not sure if I will ever be able to answer that question.

Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

A smart, hard-working, dedicated leader who empowers those around her.

Describe your style/fashion sense:

A dear friend recently described my style as “proper, with an edge.” I’d have to agree.

Favorite brand right now?

Reiss, Karen Millen, and All Saints.

Go-to clothing item/accessory right now?

Selleria Anna bag by FENDI in Asphalt Gray.

What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler.

Go-to nail color?

Phenix by Chanel.

Coffee order?

Soy latte.

What makes you feel beautiful?

Doing something for others — even if it’s a small act of kindness.

KavitaandAlexis

What makes you feel badass?

Winning.

Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS inspired me. What book has inspired you?

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace is a recent source of inspiration.

No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice? (i.e. Chocolate, tequila, Justin Bieber, etc.)

Vegan cookies—a box in the house is quite dangerous. And, of course, handbags.

Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?

Goldspot, specifically Evergreen Cassette, which has been playing on a loop at home and at work for the last few weeks.

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

Without a doubt, it is “Ambitionz Az A Ridah” by Tupac Amaru Shakur.

What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

“When you are no longer needed, you will be flicked away like a fly in milk.”—Karni Mehra. Stay humble and stay hungry, because anyone is replaceable.

Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?

A former, highly demanding boss once shared, “Leadership is not a title. It is about inspiring those around you, no matter your position.”

Advice to future girl bosses:

Cut out the noise, and focus on working harder and smarter than those around you.

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