Meet Sarah Pendrick, an international speaker, entrepreneur, and thought leader for women’s empowerment who has also founded one of the first women-supporting-women non-profit movements, The GirlTalk Network.

Focused on helping women of all ages and walks of life, GirlTalk is multi-faceted, and combines a safe and supportive online community, her Connect+Inspire event that brings together like-minded women (and donates proceeds from the event to free school programs for girls around the country), and the GirlTalk Foundation that supports women’s programs and GirlTalk On the Road. GirlTalk On the Road is a tour where Sarah travels to different schools across the nation to provide mentorship and support for young women, and each tour stop is coordinated and customized to fit the needs of each community of women they speak to.

“My mission is to give young women what I wish I would have had at their age and to make sure women know THEY ARE NOT ALONE.”

She shared her story and inspiration to create a safe space for women to support each other with Huffington Post, and her desire to help other women is rooted in a traumatic experience in college with sexual assault. She kept her assault secret for years, and was afraid of sharing what happened to her for fear of being judged or shamed, and created GirlTalk so other women never have to feel the way she did.

“I am not a victim. I am an empowered woman. I wouldn’t change anything from my past because it has made me who I am and able to fight everyday to help others. Blood, sweat and tears [went into it], but also knowing I will never give up,” Sarah told Huffington Post.