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The Power Of Stories Podcast

Storytelling Podcasts

The Power of Stories is a new podcast BY women, ABOUT women, and FOR women. In this podcast, we are inviting courageous women from around the world to share the experiences that are shaping their path to empowerment. In each episode, you will hear stories that remind YOU that you are not alone…stories about resilience, overcoming fears, pursuing your dreams.. AND believing in yourself. This podcast is hosted by... Sharon Kathryn D’Agostino, a passionate advocate for the empowerment of women and girls everywhere, and founder of the storytelling platform, and.... Yodit Kifle Smith, a creative dedicated to making sure the voices and stories of women are heard. We are grateful to Lisa DiGiovine, Editor/Co-Producer of The Power of Stories Podcast for agreeing to share her advice and expertise. Lisa is an Emmy nominated non-fiction producer, writer and director. Her many credits include writing and producing for CNN, E!, Dr. Phil, Discovery, The Outdoor Channel, Lifetime and NBC. And many thanks to Cali Wang for composing the Intro / Outro Music for this podcast. Listeners can connect with us at and on our social media pages:Instagram and Twitter: @SayItForwardNow Facebook:


United States


The Power of Stories is a new podcast BY women, ABOUT women, and FOR women. In this podcast, we are inviting courageous women from around the world to share the experiences that are shaping their path to empowerment. In each episode, you will hear stories that remind YOU that you are not alone…stories about resilience, overcoming fears, pursuing your dreams.. AND believing in yourself. This podcast is hosted by... Sharon Kathryn D’Agostino, a passionate advocate for the empowerment of women and girls everywhere, and founder of the storytelling platform, and.... Yodit Kifle Smith, a creative dedicated to making sure the voices and stories of women are heard. We are grateful to Lisa DiGiovine, Editor/Co-Producer of The Power of Stories Podcast for agreeing to share her advice and expertise. Lisa is an Emmy nominated non-fiction producer, writer and director. Her many credits include writing and producing for CNN, E!, Dr. Phil, Discovery, The Outdoor Channel, Lifetime and NBC. And many thanks to Cali Wang for composing the Intro / Outro Music for this podcast. Listeners can connect with us at and on our social media pages:Instagram and Twitter: @SayItForwardNow Facebook:




Ana Laura Araya, Costa Rica

Ana Laura Araya is the Co-Founder of Soy Niña. She has worked in nonprofit organizations and private foundations since she finished college. Ana Laura studied Journalism and Photography but during the past years she has worked in fundraising, event planning and communications in nonprofit organizations. Currently, she is finishing a certificate degree in Nonprofit Management from Harvard Extension School. Ana Laura is very passionate about the rights of girls. In this episode, Ana Laura discusses the inspiration to start a non-profit organization focused on young girls, Soy Niña, and the organization’s work to empower girls in vulnerable communities, beginning at age six, and working with girls through ninth grade… her move from Costa Rica to the U.S. at age twelve, how that move affected her life and then, ten years ago, following her intuition and moving back to Costa Rica… the importance of discovering the essence of what makes us unique and of not comparing ourselves to others and … the importance of listening to your heart… reminding us all to believe that girls’ opinions matter, to listen to girls, and to realize that, most often, they know what is best for themselves. (Costa Rica)


Theodora Biney-Amissah, USA

Theodora Biney-Amissah is a first-generation Ghanaian-American, a community and women's public health and impact professional, a birthworker-entrepreneur and family caregiver. Theodora is deeply committed to helping pregnant, birthing, and postpartum women and people and their families navigate reproductive and maternal health care, particularly postpartum healing and recovery with doula support, community care and education. In this episode, Theodora discusses growing up in a large family of many cousins, and learning lessons in childhood about caring for people in community… being called a doula years before she actually became one… after college, her experiences working in public health and working with midwives… volunteering in women’s shelters… practicing self-care by taking time to pause… setting boundaries for herself in her different roles… her experiences of being a family caregiver at various times in her life… gaps in community and national maternal healthcare… learning many things from her grandmother, who was an entrepreneur, as is her mother… encouraging community members to discuss health concerns and issues… her role in getting people to think about what they want for themselves regarding their maternal health journeys, and what they don’t want… the importance for us to believe that we are all unique and have gifts to share in the world. Saa Yare Boah Doula Care LLC (USA)


Yasmina Benslimane, Morocco and Puerto Rico

Yasmina Benslimane is a feminist activist, consultant, and women empowerment coach. Yasmina is the founder of Politics4Her, a non-profit organization that advocates for greater political participation of young women and girls. In this episode, Yasmina discusses bring born in Morocco, living in Dubai, and her early exposure to different countries and cultures… after living in several countries, seeing herself as a global citizen… facing racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia… tokenism and other experiences of young leaders and advocates who are working for positive change… the importance of being outspoken and of speaking truth to power… the role of her mother, and her own role, in helping her believe in herself… the power of social media platforms for young people… launching Politics4Her in 2017, first as a blog and then expanding into digital advocacy, capacity-building, and a movement for more inclusive involvement of young women and girls in politics… approaches for dealing with online hate… the importance of being kind to ourselves and of celebrating what we have accomplished. (Morocco and Puerto Rico)


Dr. Ruchi, India

Ruchi is a Medical Doctor and a Public Health professional in India. She also writes blogs and articles as chronicles of her journey of evolution as an individual. In this episode, Dr. Ruchi discusses her parents’ expectations that she would become a Medical Doctor… moving to a new city for medical school, and her openness to new experiences while there… her exploration and path to a career and Public Health… making unconventional choices… the importance of internal exploration and introspection for us all, and awareness of our full being… seeking and listening to advice and guidance from others… how gender norms affected her professional life… learning from mistakes and moving on… and the importance of being self-aware, and of breaking through the boundaries of other peoples’ perceptions and our own. (India)


Linda Joy, USA

Linda Joy is the Storytelling Guide and Bestselling Publisher at Inspired Living Publishing (ILP) AND Publisher of the beloved Aspire Magazine-the premiere inspirational magazine for women. Since 2010, through ILP’s Authentic Storytelling™ model and sacred anthology division, over 260 women have overcome their writing blocks and embraced their inner storyteller to become bestselling authors while healing part of themselves in the process. In this episode, Linda discusses deserving a life that aligns with the truth of who we are… living an authentic life… shedding the SHOULDs and HAVE TOs in order to live an intentional life… tapping into and building a relationship with our inner wisdom… the important role of journaling and of having conversations with our Sacred Self and with our fear… the pivotal moment that inspired her to transform her life “from the inside out”… the power of our thoughts and beliefs in determining our future… staying focused on being the highest and best version of herself… how other people’s stories can help us during our periods of transformation… the importance of sharing our stories and of remembering the truth of who we are. Linda is offering you a free magazine and bonus gifts at


Eva Nangalo, Uganda

Eva Nangalo is a midwife working in Nakaseke General Hospital in Uganda. In April, 2023 Eva was featured in Bill Gates's Heroes in the Field. In this episode, Eva her belief that she was born to be a midwife and as a little girl growing up in rural Uganda, telling her mother that she wanted to be a midwife… having a challenging relationship with her father in her early years, his taking her away from her mother, and his insistence that she become a teacher even though that was not her dream… being forced into a marriage that she did not want and then having her first child… fulfilling her dream of becoming a registered midwife… faith and the grace of God… forgiveness healing her heart… being recognized and acknowledged internationally for her passion for midwifery and her commitment to saving the lives of mothers and babies… her excitement at being featured in Bill Gates's Heroes in the Field… the importance for us all to be bold, be strong, work hard and be proud. (Uganda)


Françoise Moudouthe, Cameroon

A pan-African feminist with roots in Cameroon, Françoise Moudouthe is passionate about supporting African feminist movements to thrive. In January 2021, she became the CEO of the African Women’s Development Fund, a pan-African women's fund that provides financial and other resources to African women's organizations working towards the fulfillment of all African women's rights. Prior to joining AWDF, Françoise established Eyala, a bilingual platform that amplifies the voices and lived experiences of African feminists, and worked as an international consultant for gender justice in Africa. Earlier in her career, she played an instrumental role in setting up Girls Not Brides, the global civil society partnership to end child marriage, and in spearheading its growth in Africa. Françoise is a Board member of the Equality Fund and Prospera. In this episode, Françoise discusses how her many conversations with women throughout her life fostered an early fascination with justice and ignited her passion for activism and movements to end injustice… being an outspoken girl, growing up in Cameroon, and using her voice to make her opinions known… moving to France as a teenager with her mother and the adversities that her mother faced because her competencies were not recognized in her new country… what Françoise learned from her mother’s decisions and how they shaped her own choices about who she is and about and how she uses her voice… learning about feminism from conversations with, and the actions of, women working to address the structural inequities they face…. defining her identity as an African feminist who is passionate about ensuring that movements work, and thrive… loving to make space for those who are systematically marginalized by listening to their stories and amplifying their stories and their voices… understanding that there is knowledge and power in our daily stories… the importance of creating space for people, and particularly women, to ask questions and reacting to those with empathy, and not judgment. (Cameroon)


Clare Schexnyder, USA

Clare Schexnyder describes herself as a "Woman of the World, Mother, Founder, Entrepreneur, Producer, Community Organizer, Activist, and Ally." Clare has packed a few careers into her life so far. A producer for CNN for 17 years, she covered politics, breaking news stories and war zones. She left CNN after the birth of her child and founded her own company called, "Oh Baby! Fitness" in 2005. Clare had serious postpartum depression after her son was born, and the friendships she made in a new parent support group, and the daily long walks she took with new friends (and some anti-depressants) literally saved her life and gave her the idea for creating a business that is now international. Oh Baby! Fitness offers pregnancy and mom & baby exercise classes, and also trains fitness, medical and birth professionals in pre and postnatal exercise worldwide. Clare is also a community organizer, political activist and advocate for transgender kids. In this episode, Clare shares her story of being a producer at CNN, her struggle with postpartum depression, and her realization about community and exercise being life-saving. Clare also shares about her later breast cancer diagnosis, and how she learned to accept help. It was a lesson that she immediately put into daily practice when her Mom was diagnosed with brain cancer just 6 weeks after Clare had a double mastectomy. Clare's story about the power of community and the power of asking for and accepting help inspires us. She tells us about the importance of showing up, of listening, of speaking up and, most importantly, of taking action to drive change in our communities to help our friends and neighbors. She did it in her hometown of Atlanta and helped spark others to do it across the country and around the world. We think you'll love hearing her story in her own words. (USA)


Dr. Fithriyyah, Indonesia

Fithriyyah is a Doctor of Medicine and an environment youth activist since 2015. She is working on Planetary Health & Environmental Rights issues for her advocacy work at the moment. Fithriyyah has spoken at many international high-level policy consultation forums, representing youth locally and regionally, especially at the UN and ASEAN forums. In this episode, Fithriyyah discusses her passion for environmental issues as a young leader, and the impact of environmental change on health… joining local movements for youth activism before attending medical school… understanding at a young age that she would need to work hard to reach her dreams… studying environmental effects on human health… joining the ASEAN Youth Forum, a youth community from 11 ASEAN countries… the importance of meaningful youth participation throughout the process of policy change at local, national, and international levels… language and financial barriers that impede young people from participating in international conferences and forums… climate change and its effects, especially on marginalized communities… the importance of each of us making small changes to have a positive effect on the environment… ensuring that we provide space and support for young people… and the remainder that we can all make change in our community. (Indonesia)


Asfiya Rahman, India

Asfiya Rahman is a writer who has written three novels and numerous articles. She also loves to read and travel. In this episode, Asfiya discusses the power of childhood dreams… her experience having open-minded, supportive parents, even when she was making decisions about the educational path she would pursue… choosing to study commerce, and then pursuing an MBA… teaching… rediscovering her love of writing after the birth of her daughter, and then switching careers to become a writer… the importance of asking for help, and also offering help and advice to others… deciding that what you need is important, and making yourself a priority… education, and the choices it gives you… validating and helping empower others by listening to them… the importance of sharing your experiences because “just by sharing your experiences, you could be making a world of difference to someone.” (India)


Judith Staff, England

Judith Staff is a primary school teacher, and mainly teaches Early Years. She has left teaching a few times to work with women and girls who have survived physical and sexual violence and abuse. For the past few years, Judith has worked on a government-funded violence reduction initiative for young children aged 3 and up. Judith is married and has three teenage children. In this episode, Judith discusses her catalogue of complex childhood trauma which took her an a winding career pathway, to currently teaching a government-funded violence reduction program for 3 to 6 year-olds in areas where there are high levels of violence. Judith is committed to amplifying the voices of children, helping them develop self-worth and self-belief, and advocating for little girls so they know that what they have to say is important and that their voices will be heard. (England)


Janet G. Nestor, MA, LPC, DCEP (USA)

Janet Nestor is a spiritual seeker, wife, mother, grandmother, author… licensed clinical Mental Health Counselor… Diplomat in Comprehensive Energy Psychology… and Energy Medicine Practitioner who loves animals, trees, and all of mother nature's family of life! In this episode, Janet discusses her award-winning book, Pathways to Wholeness… living mindfully in peace and love… our natural relaxation response… Radiant Energies Balance, a practice which she helped develop… the importance of spending time and finding peace in Nature… our connection mindful meditation… self-love, self-care, self-worth and self-confidence… growing up on a farm and developing a compassionate view of animals that are raised for food… moving meditation, including the ancient medication called “shaking and breathing” to quiet the mind… broadening our definition of meditation, and finding the quiet oasis within us… walking meditation… Tai chi and the flow of energy in our body… events in her childhood that motivated her to become a mental health counselor… encouraging women to claim their power by seeing them, hearing them, listening to them, and recognizing who they are and what their needs may be, and supporting them in speaking their truth. (USA)


Rinki Sharma, India

Rinki Sharma is a positive change-maker who believes in change and living life with a purpose. In this episode, Rinki discusses her passion as a change-maker and her belief that we can all inspire and act for change in our communities… the importance of a positive mindset and of believing in yourself… the need for flexibility in a fast-changing world, and understanding how to engage others in making needed change… agency and having the courage to speak out, and the turning point in her life when she joined the “She Creates Change” community of which motivated her to use Twitter for good, connecting her with more purpose-driven communities including #ThePowerOfStories, #SpiritChat, and #SayftyChat… reframing a harsh criticism by understanding “the power of zero”… learning from the people around us, even those who do not treat us well… the importance of saying “no” and of claiming responsibility for our life, for our decisions, and for setting our boundaries… choosing to encourage and inspire others by empowering them, and by not judging them. (India)


Pauline Juma, Kenya

Pauline Juma is from Kajido, Kenya. She is a mother, a storyteller and the Director and Founder of Rebirth of A Queen. In this episode, Pauline discusses founding Rebirth of A Queen, a safe-house that works to empower teenage survivors of sexual violence by giving them the opportunity to heal, to learn, and to pursue their dreams… being labeled a “rebel” as a girl…intergenerational trauma… growing up in poverty… her seven years of silence after surviving sexual violence and being threatened to tell no one about the assault… the process of healing, and how writing poetry helped her… mental health and resilience… her mother’s lessons about forgiveness, and her own understanding that forgiveness is a journey and a process… disconnecting forgiveness from religion… the healing power of writing encouraging letters to herself, especially to the former girl that she was at 16 and to the young woman she was at 23… learning to say “No” without feeling guilty when someone asks for help, and saying “Let me think about it” instead…and the importance of telling one’s own story. (Kenya)


Anu Bhatnagar, India and The United Arab Emirates

Anu Bhatnagar is a catalyst of self-love and meditative living, living every day in perfect balance of spiritually and business successes. In this episode, Anu discusses the importance of self-love and the opportunity to introduce this at a much earlier time in the lives of girls, women, boys and men… how gender inequality drives systemic inequities in women’s health globally, in addition to defining a woman’s role and purpose in her family and community… how lack of access to basic healthcare or basic health needs impacts women, and lack of access to basic menstrual products can affect a girl’s access to education, and lead to early marriage and early motherhood… inadequate information about how cholesterol, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and heart disease affect women differently than the way these medical conditions generally affect men… incidence of women’s health concerns being dismissed with the phrase “It’s in your head.”… ways to overcome fear of speaking out in front of large groups of people… the importance of making self-love, self-care, and self-acceptance a part of our everyday life, and of giving ourselves time to know ourselves better. (India and The United Arab Emirates)


Sharon Kathryn D’Agostino, USA

Sharon Kathryn D’Agostino is a passionate advocate for the empowerment of women and girls, and for the human rights of all. She is the founder of the story-sharing platform,, cohost of this podcast, and leader of monthly Women’s Circles that she hosts online. Sharon believes in the power of stories to spark our compassion for ourselves and for others, and to recognize that we are all connected. In this episode, Sharon discusses and her passion for women and girls being able to tell their stories in their own words… some reasons why women and girls share their stories, and how they inspire her every day… learning to speak up for herself and encouraging other women to do the same when they are not being heard… the importance of listening with an open heart and with the intention of understanding others… the role of mentors in her own life, beginning with her parents, and how this cultivated her passion for mentoring others… the celebration of recording 50 episodes of The Power Of Stories podcast… reminding everyone of how unique and important their own stories are… and the importance of listening to women and girls, helping them feel heard, and encouraging them to believe that they are powerful. (USA)


Sophia Yen, MD, MPH (USA)

Dr. Sophia Yen is the CEO and Co-Founder of Pandia Health and is Board Certified in Adolescent Medicine, having graduated from MIT, UCSF Medical School, and UC Berkeley with a MPH in Maternal Child Health. She serves as a clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Stanford Medical School. Dr. Yen added to her career as a physician to be an entrepreneur and advocate, launching several corporate and non-profit initiatives focused on women’s reproductive health and empowerment such , (Female Founded, Female Led), and the Silver Ribbon Campaign to Trust Women. In this episode, Dr. Yen discusses life experiences that influences her passion for adolescent medicine and for adolescents’ rights to comprehensive sex ed and access tp birth control… how her parents helped her build self-confidence and intellectual curiosity at a young age… the importance of prioritizing family time, and of being a parent and not a friend… signs that an adolescent may be experiencing mental health challenges, and seeking mental health care… 988 - the Suicide & Crisis Helpline in the U.S… believing in yourself…… #StopSuckingItUp… and encouraging us all to speak up and not be afraid to ask for help. (USA)


Olaoluwa Abagun, LLB. BL. MA., Nigeria

Olaoluwa Abagun is a lawyer working in gender & development. Ola is the Executive Director of ATHENA and she is the Mom to a sassy one-year-old girl. In this episode, Ola discusses ATHENA, a global feminist network that seeks to advance gender equality and human rights and that elevates the voices of young women and girls in the HIV response… the status of women and girls in society… how her parents unknowingly set her on the path of feminism by modeling the importance of education and of gender equity and equality, and by encouraging her, even as a young girl, to use her voice and to speak up… her first step into advocacy as an opinionated 13-year-old selected as a representative to the Children’s Parliament in Lagos, Nigeria, and learning about the challenges that many other girls were facing, including exclusion from education, child marriage, child trafficking, child labor, FGM, and rape… being an overachiever and multitasker for most of her life, and then feeling isolated and overwhelmed as a new mom… therapy… learning to be kind to herself… unrealistic expectations… the importance of giving yourself grace… emphasizing sisterhood and looking out for the women in your life and around your life who need your support. (Nigeria)


Medicine Song Woman Brenda MacIntyre, Canada

Known by her Indigenous name, Medicine Song Woman, London Ontario-based JUNO-winning artist Brenda MacIntyre is a mixed-blood Cree keynote speaker, singer, and healer. Brenda’s signature Medicine Song Healing & Reading Sessions, keynotes, workshops and Picking Up the Pieces 13 Moon Resilience and Reawakening program help women living with grief, trauma and chronic pain to heal and enrich their lives. In this episode, Brenda discusses her first experience as a song-catcher in a healing session with Indigenous grandmothers… the impact of trauma and grief… having the courage to sing on stage for the first time at 17 years old… moving to Toronto to begin her music career… the way society has “set up” women for perfectionism… searching for a sense of belonging… the importance of breathing into our bellies to access the truth of who we are, and to access our intuition… helping women find their voice… advice from women elders to take care of ourselves first, when we are conditioned to do the opposite… the importance of identifying simple, easy ways to “fill ourselves up”… the death of her son in 2016… the process of exploring who she really was and deciding to be herself… internalized, systemic racism… holding a space for other women’s voices to be heard… the lasting impact of trauma and grief… the many benefits of singing, and finding a way to really fall in love with your voice. (Canada)


Samantha Brown-Parks, MD, MPH - USA

Dr. Samantha Brown-Parks is a family medicine physician who started her career as a doctor in the Army. She is a mother of two boys and she also helps her family with their local business. Her goal in life is to learn as much as she can about people to help them, and to keep life fun. In this episode, Dr. Brown-Parks discusses growing up in a small agricultural town, where the community had little access to medical care… her early interest in and commitment to education and academic achievement… being accepted to medical school when she was just 19 years old, and joining the Army as a doctor at 23… her experiences as a young woman in the military… the importance of first impressions… leaving the Army and earning a Masters of Public Health… joining a medical practice and completing a university faculty development fellowship… teaching medical students and guiding them how to relate to and listen to their patients… fear as a motivator, or as a detractor… imposter syndrome… noticing the signs that it is time “move on” to something new… consulting as a medical expert for broadcast media… and reminding us all of the importance of being a role model. (USA)