Our SHE-CAN Scholar:

Janeth Kallahan Mejía

SHE-CAN Scholar: Janeth Kallahan Mejía

Janeth will be attending the University of Minnesota beginning in Fall 2023. She grew up with her mother, aunt, and younger sister in Chichicastenango, El Quiché. Supported by her family, Janeth was always motivated to learn. Her family only spoke K’iche, but Janeth was able to teach herself enough Spanish in order to continue her studies. Throughout her time in school, Janeth continued to defy expectations and was consistently ranked one of the top students. This experience first ignited her passion for languages and the power they have to improve lives. Along with her academic strengths, Janeth also loves the arts, music, and animals. She was able to balance her schoolwork, house chores, and take on extracurricular activities, including marimba – an instrument usually associated with men in Guatemala. By challenging this norm, Janeth inspired many other girls to sign up for marimba lessons. In addition to music, Janeth participated in theater, dance, and speaking and writing contests. Janeth also challenged stereotypes when she became a member of the regional martial arts team – in her community, women and girls were never seen as strong enough to fight.  She hopes to continue to fight for gender equality, and show her community that women, especially indigenous women, deserve respect and the same opportunities as men. Her time spent volunteering with organizations allowed her to present workshops on women’s rights and leadership, focusing on indigenous women. Janeth wants to connect her indigenous community and the world through language and help increase opportunities for Guatemalan women. Janeth experienced firsthand how language can change someone’s path and open the door to a new worldview. 

SHE-CAN scholar Janeth Kallahan Mejía University of Minnesota

Academic Major

Class of 2027

Mentor Team

Carol Chang, Chief Financial Officer, Family Office, SHE-CAN
Kristin Nicholson, Senior Managing Director, First Republic Bank
Faith Huang, Allergist/Immunologist, SoCal Medical Group
Suzanne Russo, Manager of Strategic Events, Salesforce
Libby Palomeque, Managing Director, Portfolio Manager, First Republic Investment Management
Cynthia Harris, Strategic Marketing Consultant & President, Cynthia Harris Marketing LLC