30 Under 30: Marzia Sager is using her nonprofit to cultivate confidence in young women

Sager is an SFU alumni who wants to help newcomers settle in.

Marzia Sager, 25

Co-founder, Glow Within Foundation

Life Story: Marzia Sager grew up in the Phillipines but moved to Vancouver when she was nine. At first, she thought she’d follow in the footsteps of her mom or grandma, a pharmacist and doctor, respectively. At least up until a first-year university chemistry class. “I hated it, I just thought, this is not it,” she recalls.

Sager ended up graduating from SFU with a major in communications and a minor in publishing. But it was a certificate in entrepreneurship and a startup venture class that really set her on her current path.

“I wasn’t feeling the whole tech industry at the time,” recalls Sager. “I met a group of young women and talked about our experiences in high school. I was bullied there and had a lot of anxiety growing up. Being Asian in a high school in Canada, the experience is so different and I didn’t have older sisters to relate to.”

While most of her classmates in the venture class were developing for-profit ideas, “I thought, why don’t we go against the grain and start a non-profit? The prof said we were crazy, but we registered it and it took off from there.”

Bottom Line: Port Moody-based Glow Within Foundation is a non-profit organization providing interactive workshops and educational resources to feminine-identifying youth in the Greater Vancouver area and several schools in Alberta. Sager, her two co-founders and a volunteer base of about 10-12 facilitators have introduced the program to over 1,000 students.