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  • purposelypodcast

Celebrating diversity and everyday success stories through story telling

Elina Ashimbayeva joins Purposely to share her founder experience starting Storyo.

Storyo is loosely based on the ‘Humans of New York’ a famous photo blog shining a light on the people of New York, people of all genders, race and class. Storyo’s mission is to contribute to a culture shift that improves societal attitudes, behaviours and narratives.

The inspiration came after she was scrolling online and was tired of the same “success” stories. Elina and her partner Steven wanted to share the journeys of their amazing friends. They wanted to celebrate people who are social workers, local artists, local politicians, sex workers and teachers. They also wanted to celebrate gender diversity because these narratives are so rarely shared in the media. They did their first interview for Storyo in June 2019 and have been hooked developing it ever since. Elina’s driven by the privilege she feels from moving to New Zealand from Kazakhstan and getting a great education. Her mission “to live a life that is useful to others,” guided her through all her different roles and study.

Drawn to help people in the health sector Elina studied biomedical sciences and became a research assistant working in the immunology field. It was through this job, she realised she wanted to work more closely with people, and directly see the outcomes of her work. She utilised the short breaks between lab experiments and started listening to podcasts. She was fascinated by business gurus who showed her there are all sorts of ways of helping people outside of science.


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