The Fairy Godmother of Growclass: How Elizabeth Monier-Williams helps students shine.

September 21, 2023
Hannah Permell

Community is not a word we take lightly at Growclass. When we say Growclass is the kindest corner of the internet, that’s not us bragging (although it does feel good to say). It’s what our members have coined this space. 

People make up communities. 

So we want to introduce you to them. The people who make Growclass the kindest corner of the internet.

And who better to kick off our spotlight series than the wonderful Elizabeth Monier-Williams, or as we fondly call her, EMW.

Elizabeth has spent over 20 years in the tech, research and higher education sectors. She loves working with organizations that dare to take risks and she thrives in environments where teams are encouraged to explore, learn, and experiment.

EMW is not just an advocate for creativity but a practitioner. She's the talented author of the Chaos Calling: The Xenthian Cycle book series, a testament to her love for creative processes filled with surprise, delight, and discovery. 

Above all, she cherishes the art of connection. She believes that the most fulfilling part of her role as a senior leader is engaging in heartfelt conversations that explore career development, coaching, and mentorship–– a commitment she wholeheartedly extends to our community.

EMW was the very first person to reach out to me when I made my introduction to the Growclass community and she’s been a guiding light ever since. She’s got a special way of helping people that has made her the unofficial Growclass mentor from day one.

And I’m not the only one who can confirm this.

“EMW was in the first cohort of Growclass, and quickly became the fairy godmother of this community. She’s thoughtful, empathetic, whip smart, and so kind. She makes every new student in our community feel like they really belong here— and she’s become the mentor that so many folks were really missing in their lives.” ––Sarah Stockdale

You can always count on EMW to offer help, advice, and unwavering support. She knows just the right questions to ask to get you thinking about things in a different perspective so you can get unblocked and take the next steps. 

“Whenever I've needed help, advice, or just a friendly nudge in the right direction, EMW has been there with bells on. And the thing is, she's like that with everyone. I've seen her guide people with such patience and quiet strength that is so rare. My respect for her could move mountains.”  ––Tiffany DaSilva 

One of the most amazing things about EMW is her innate ability to inspire those around her without even realizing it. Because she does it from a place of selflessness.

“Something that inspires me the most about EMW is her ability to empathize. She has a way with words (duh) that makes people feel instantly welcomed and warm.  I’m so thankful to have her in the Growclass crew (and selfishly as a # local toronto one, too).” ––Quinn Palmer

And in turn she inspires folks to pay it forward. Spreading the love and light exponentially everywhere she goes. 

“She was one of the first people to give me feedback for my podcast and has continued to show up for it consistently. In turn, it reminds me how much it matters to tell people you appreciate their work because it makes a lonely effort feel worth it!” ––Kirsti McNabney

EMW has had countless coffee chats with folks helping them work through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Along the way she’s become quite the matchmaker. Helping folks looking to transition in their career, find the perfect opportunity through her network.

“EMW changed my life when she introduced me to a friend of hers who was hiring a social content specialist. It was (and still is!) the job of my dreams. When Mr. Rogers said look for the helpers, I think he was talking about EMW. I'm grateful that her introduction brought me to this role, and also that it connected us too.” ––Rachel Gruber 

EMW is a role model for so many members in our community. She helps bring out the best in those around her, even when they don’t see it in themselves.

“Something I learned from her is to be okay with walking in your own power. Not in an arrogant way but in a purposeful way. And understanding that whether your advice is taken or not, whether your ideas are implemented or not, it does not take away from their validity. The value inherent in who you are and how you present yourself is its own entity. It does not wax and wane with other people’s approval or lack thereof. That has been huge for me.” –– Aparna 

We could go on and on about all the ways in which Elizabeth helps make this community so special. But we’d end up with a novel. Seriously, even the quotes shared above had to be trimmed down to fit this article. You can read the full versions here (be sure to have tissues on hand!).

Elizabeth Monier-Williams is a true inspiration, a mentor, and the heart of our community. She’s a great example of why it pays to be a kind person in this world. We're so incredibly lucky to have her in Growclass!

If you’d like to connect with Elizabeth, you can find her hanging out in the Growclass community or helping folks find their light on her website

Stay tuned for more inspiring stories from our incredible community members and mentors.

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