A wide-eyed high school student takes a seat in her classroom, ready for what the new day will bring. She always begins her day the same, unleashing all her bottled up thoughts and emotions on a clean sheet of paper. Every last inch of her mind covers the blank page, with thoughts on life, love and inspiration.
Although she usually keeps her thoughts to herself, today was different. Encouraged by her teacher to take a stance in front of her female peers, the nervous teenager grips onto her masterpiece, and with her thoughts in her hands, she makes her way to the front of the class.
As she opens her mouth and lets the words flow, she fills the room with stories of heartache, lessons of life, and words of inspiration and empowerment. Little does Alyssa know, this is the first speech of many that she will use to inspire women and ignite others with the positivity and motivation buried inside of them.
Now 23, Alyssa Ho is an internationally recognised writer, and through her encounters with hardship and heartache, she is on a mission to empower women around the world and is a shining light guiding hundreds of young females through the dark.
“I started writing when I was in high school. For me, it was just sharing it with my classmates… I leaned toward writing pieces that were very motivational, and genuine advice on life and how to get through times of struggle and that got a great response,” Alyssa said, as she began to recount her early exposure into the world of writing.
“In that class, we had an amazing teacher and she was the first one who encouraged me to share my writing- I think it’s important to have someone in your life that influences you, and pushes you to do something you love,”
Throughout high school, Alyssa went from sharing her work with classmates, to publishing her thoughts online. Encouraged to do so by friends, Alyssa began a series of ‘Facebook notes’, where she would impart her wisdom onto those in need.
“People really engaged with it. I thought, “I’m really onto something, this could really help people. I need to do something with this”… It got a great response,” she said.
An emotional individual, and a passionate observer of family and friends, Alyssa collected her thoughts and experiences and communicated those through relatable quotes and advice.
“I’m a very sensitive and emotional person, so I think it’s very easy for me to connect: whether it be with people, experiences or anything like that,” she said.
As Alyssa slowly rose to success, the natural progression led her to develop a series of blogs and publish her work on Instagram. Late nights dedicated to perfecting each phrase, and paying attention to every intricate detail was simply setting Alyssa up to launching her empire, “Alyssa Ho Writings”.
“I shared original quotes on my personal Instagram, and then I went on to make a new page called “Alyssa Ho Writings” and the name just stuck… this was about four years ago, before there were so many inspirational pages available.”
While there was constant encouragement from family and friends who surrounded her, Alyssa’s work began to reach new heights. With her relatable quotes and advice about life spreading to over 12 thousand followers online, her audience started to reach out to her, and seek advice on what they were going through.
“My main audience are young, single girls who are really ambitious and who want a bit of guidance in life – they know they can turn to me if they ever need anything… there’s been hundreds of girls who have reached out to me over the years, there been a lot,” she said.
“These experiences that girls open up to me about and share with me is what influences me most. Also things I see my own friends go through – I think ‘what would they need to hear to help them get through what they’re going through?”
A humbled Alyssa credits these women for her incredible success, and believes they influence and inspire her just as much as she does for them.
“The most rewarding bit is people coming back to me and sharing how far they’ve come. That’s what encourages me to keep going.”
As she reaches for her latte, she pauses, and takes a moment to reflect on how influential her readers are, and how she cherishes her new found friends.
“There are times where I just feel like I want to give up on the writing thing, and that I’m not having an impact on anyone. But when people actually reach out and tell me I’ve made a difference to their lives or I’ve helped them through a tough situation – that pushes me to keep going, to keep doing it.”
Despite the incredible impact she is having on audiences, the ever-ambitious Alyssa still wanted to do more. With a burning desire to bring her followers together, she began working tirelessly to make her networking dreams, a reality.
“I’ve always been ambitious and I’ve always set goals for myself and I have so many dreams I want to fulfil,” she said.
“I always wanted to set up a community and bring women together for conferences and networking events and workshops. While I’ve wanted to do it for so long, I realised that timing is important, because back then (when the idea initially came to Alyssa), I wouldn’t have had what it takes to set it all up, wouldn’t have the contacts or the experience. I didn’t build connections with the right people, where as now I think I’m ready.”
And thus, ‘My Go to Gal’ was born.
Since launching her new group in early March, the network has already exceeded 600 members. In this strong and empowering environment, more women are inspired to open up, and encouraged to share their struggles daily. With communication rapidly increasing, My Go to Gal is involving from a group of strangers, to a group of girlfriends.
“I’ve been part of a few networking groups before, but what I found with them is they are very business focused – they aren’t building emotional connections with you, it’s just everyone trying to promote themselves and their business. I saw a gap in that industry and there is a need to bring women together, just as friends. A lot of girls feel alone sometimes and they just need a sense of comfort and to build conversation,” Alyssa said.
She explains that the idea branched off from networking groups she was already apart of; however felt they lacked a sense of true emotion and genuine connections. With ‘My Go to Gal’ giving friendships a place to blossom, Alyssa believes its success is due to the passion and willingness of its members.
“The people who reach out to me are so genuine and the most kind hearted girls I’ve ever met in my life, so I think having all of them in one space is so important.
I credit (the success of the group) to the girls; they’ve made it get to where it is now. They’ve invited their friends and spread it through word of mouth.”
With the official launch party just around the corner, Alyssa hope this sets the tone for following events to come. With plans to host more gatherings (brunches, dinners, coffees), networking events, conferences and introduce deeper workshops, she hopes to discuss important topics related to business and career, personal growth and issues and relationships.
For Alyssa, her passion and love for women overflows through every aspect of her life and every step of the way, she is looking for new ways to empower women and uplift them in times of need. Combining this love for women and her big dreams and desire for success, she is reaching new heights everyday.
“I think in your mind you always hope it’s going to become something and make a living off it. But for me, despite all the jobs I’ve had throughout the years at the back of my mind I’ve known I’m not meant to be doing this. I know my passion is writing and as impossible as it seems sometimes, I’m going to make it happen,” she said.
What has been an incredible journey for Alyssa so far hasn’t come without its ups and downs. As she watches students struggle with the pressures and expectations of life, she always reinforces positivity, and mistakes as a part of figuring out their path.
“There’s a lot of pressure for us to have everything figured out, but you actually need to experiment and experience things. You learn things along the way; you may change your mind… it takes time. Take everything as it comes, always remain optimistic and try to have faith that things will change for you,” she said.
“Always have hope – I know it sounds cliché and it’s so hard at times, but it is so easy for anyone to focus on the problem rather than the resolution… I think I’ve just accepted that with life, nothing ever goes the way you plan and you won’t have every single moment be the best of your life. Struggles and setbacks will always be there, and that’s why it’s so important to just take life as it comes and just learn from it,”
And as her final words of advice floated off into the warm autumn air, they returned to her younger self, standing in front of her high school class.
As lessons on life and love started to fill the classroom, her journey of inspiration and empowerment was had just begun.