Mehrnaz is a progress specialist, educator and public speaker as well as the award-winning founder of MyGradeBooster, a tutoring company that has helped hundreds of students achieve academic success—and often develop life-changing skills in the process.
Because of her own life experience of overcoming sometimes extreme obstacles, Mehrnaz is passionate about elevating others’ abilities to meet and exceed their goals. She uses her company, her public speaking, her workshops and her writing to share hard-won knowledge about how simple, consistent positive changes can help each of us achieve more, aspire to more, and create more fulfilling lives.
“I am sharing my story because so many people have told me that what I learned along the way is also of value to them. By passing on the lessons from my life, I am inviting you to re-examine your own situation and reach a very different destination, a better one. I promise you, it’s worth it.”
Mehrnaz grew up in Iran and, as a girl, faced crushing sexism and cultural repressiveness. She remembers being an eight-year-old already aware that her society equated her body with shame. “Being a girl is hard in Iran, and being a tomboy is worse…I remember feeling embarrassed that I had done something wrong, though I didn’t know what.” This experience taught Mehrnaz the importance of strong female role models in every young girl’s life. Through her work she inspires and empowers women to use the power of incremental progress to become leaders in their professional and personal lives.
As a child, Mehrnaz was a first generation immigrant twice—first to Japan and later to Canada. She understands the enormous gifts that come from having the privilege to intimately experience another culture—and the grinding struggle to overcome being an outsider. Her immigrant identity has taught her that regardless of where we live and what language we speak, our desire for creating a better future for ourselves and those we love is universal. Mehrnaz equips her audience with the tools and strategies to overcome obstacles and achieve progress towards their dream life.
Mehrnaz had a rare, debilitating condition called selective mutism that took away her ability to speak for much of her childhood and youth. Undiagnosed, as an 11-year old who had almost lost hope that functioning in the world was possible for her, she became determined to overcome her disorder at all costs. Mehrnaz launched a lonely campaign of incremental efforts and experimentation that eventually led her to reclaim her voice. It was the first of many experiences that showed her how small actions can lead to extraordinary results. A couple of decades later, she challenged herself to finally dominate her selective mutism by becoming a public speaker–and succeeded.
“I want to inspire and empower every person, regardless of their gender, race, orientation, educational background or upbringing to discover how deliberate and continuous small, constructive actions can lead to a better, more fulfilling life.”
Mehrnaz knows the suffering that comes from poverty, and how the quiet shame and the physical and emotional exhaustion of constant income insecurity strains family relationships and erodes dignity. As new Canadians, her family went from having a breadwinner who’s highly advanced career provided for a comfortable life to having two parents with precarious employment struggling to meet basic needs. Seeing her parents doggedly eke out a livelihood under unfavourable circumstances and gradually re-establish their financial security taught Mehrnaz that success is often incremental and slow. Rarely do we go from nothing to having everything overnight. The key to success is adopting the right mindset to keep showing up and making progress.
Mehrnaz understands how intolerance causes many LGBTQ+ people to conceal or distort their real selves, and the pain this creates. She spent many years hiding in the closet, leading a double life. Like so many others, Mehrnaz undertook the hard and courageous work of finding a way to live her life openly and authentically. She discovered that it is embracing our difference that makes us truly happy. Developing the confidence to expose our vulnerability helps us develop real strength. And becoming indifferent to the reactions of others makes us truly free.
Mehrnaz successfully made the kind of dramatic career change that many people dream about but don’t follow through on. As an accomplished science graduate with an enviable early start in the biotech industry, Mehrnaz experienced the harm that comes from being on a career trajectory offering status and money but that is all wrong for you—and feeling like there is no way out. Mehrnaz taught herself to pursue her authentic aspirations by using her systematic science training to problem-solve her way out of her predicament. She ended up foregoing status and money to “follow her bliss” and found out that the old saying is true: do what you love and the money will follow.
Mehrnaz and her family experienced systemic racism when discriminatory bureaucratic practices delayed her mother’s potentially life-saving bone marrow transplant. As a Canadian citizen Merhnaz is grateful for her positive experiences in one of the best countries on earth, but she also takes on the responsibility to speak truthfully about the discrepancy between high-minded government rhetoric surrounding citizens’ rights and the second-class treatment her mother received from the Canadian government when her life hung in the balance. Mehrnaz recognizes that this kind of double standard has been, and continues to be, experienced by Indigenous peoples, people of colour, and first-generation immigrants. She believes that stories have the power to bring us closer together, unite us against discrimination, and move us towards a more equitable future.
Mehrnaz was forced to develop a high level of resilience when she faced the double challenge of being an inexperienced start-up business owner during the most challenging period of her personal life. The lessons she learned on how to save her business and pull through emotionally while she was running her new company from her mother’s hospital bedside have stayed with Mehrnaz ever since. And today she teaches others how to build their resilience to overcome their own professional and personal challenges.
Mehrnaz has discovered that self-awareness is the single most essential component for living a fulfilled life and pursuing goals that truly lead to happiness, instead of just success. Whether it’s raising your math score, achieving a promotion, accomplishing a business milestone, improving your time management—or even your relationships—the most powerful starting point will always be an honest investigation into yourself. Your definition of happiness. Your definition of success. Your definition of who you are. And that requires you to know your story. Mehrnaz has and continues to delve into her own story. She shares it for the sake of others looking for inspiration to do the same.