Cheryl Witha is short version of her full name which is Cheryl Withaneachi. She was born in a small town called Teluk Intan which is located in the Northern state of Perak in Malaysia .However, that’s just the surface. Cheryl is a product of an amazing love story of two different cultures that collided creating someone who is very open and tolerant to different cultures. With an understanding that we all have our backstory and operate based on our life experiences of what the world has taught us. Cheryl also added we have the capacity of being greater than we know. She is a born nurturer that believes EVERYONE has immense potential waiting to be discovered.
She studied Mass Communications at a Local Government University called Universiti Sains Malaysia in the Northern side in Penang Island, Malaysia. She completed both her Masters and Degree there. Cheryl said, “Everyone should visit Penang Island 🙂 It’s an experience to behold”.
She is passionate about people. She believes that she has the knack of unravelling the hidden potential in an individual. God’s purpose for Cheryl in life is to help people discover how they can use their God given talents to uplift and help others rise. This allows individuals to create a chain reaction through an understanding of the purpose and who they are. Currently, Cheryl is helping people simplify tech so they can create interactive programs so that their audiences can experience a transformative journey in tune with her passion platform, Lift as you Rise.
Lift as you Rise can be accessed on these platforms:
Cheryl runs an organisation named Lift as You Rise. Lift as You Rise that started off by empowering students to explore their potential in the real world and educating others on issues that matter. She has had privilege to be joined by her Co-Founder Yee Siow San. This platform has grown to empower individuals from all walks of life to develop a better self.
Some of their previous projects when they first began include power-up workshops with the native tribes in Negeri Sembilan [Southern State in Malaysia] .They taught young children and teenagers how to use the media to tell stories, IQ70++ project that helps create awareness. In addition, raise funds about mentally challenged kids from Petaling Jaya, Selangor[ Central State in Malaysia]. Furthermore, running of campaigns against the use of verbal abuse via “Enuff Said” Campaign amongst university students. The management of their first social media page of a non-government organization called North-South Initiative to boost their page and set them on a digital path.
In the last two years, they have worked exclusively in empowering individuals to develop a better self via professional development programs and conferences collaborating with industry people from LinkedIn with companies like WSF -World Start-Up Festival. They now run an annual conference called the “Lift as You Rise ME” Conference [formerly known as The Lighthouse Project] which helps young people to discover their potential. Which focuses on their Bytes that a short-form talks and workshop/breakout-session where they learn practical skills needed to survive in personal and professional development in various areas like; emotional intelligence, entrepreneurial skills, digital brands etc. This platform is currently expanding to start a social enterprise that helps trainers, coaches, and business owners to create more interactive programs and courses through the use of educational technology that will seek to fund all of their passion projects under Lift as you Rise.
Cheryl’s day job includes working as a full-time Lecturer in a Private Local University in Malaysia [INTI International University ] . She educates students on the World of Communication and building their personal and professional development to become holistic individuals, not just industry ready but life ready.
Cheryl shared her experience on how patriarchy has affected leadership and the place of women in Malaysia. In Malaysia they are quite modern and women do have many opportunities in terms of the ability to work however, it is definitely not something that applies to everyone. It largely depends on which cultural background, state, town, family you come from that decide that path. Despite the opportunity to work, there are still major differences when it comes to the salaries, opportunities for promotions, discrimination when it comes to hiring women for executive roles women who are pregnant or mothers. The government has created opportunities for women who have left the workforce to re-join the workforce through skilled programs. However, it’s too soon to tell how effective it might be and there are many upcoming strong women figures in Malaysia that hold top CEO roles. However, the overall there are still many discriminatory policies in the private sector that holds women back in some sectors, poor representation of women in Parliament amongst others.
Cheryl shared her life changing moment where everything completely changed for the better? That U-TURN moment in her life
“I’ve always been blessed, had a wonderful childhood, and very supportive parents but I believe that moment that changed my perspective on how I viewed life is meeting my partner in life. He has opened my eyes to various perspectives, challenged me, and pushed me to be a better version of myself. Most importantly brought God back as a focal and instrumental part of my life instead of just a Sunday routine. His role in my life has made me realize my purpose in life, challenge myself to do more consistently with focus and understand that we were put here on earth for a reason. It’s not just about 9-5 job, we are all connected and interdependent on each other to thrive”.
Cheryl’s words of wisdom to women on why they should continue taking up spaces
“Women shouldn’t just take up spaces, they should own them [I don’t mean just economically]. We are built so magnificently by God to move mountains, to empower, to strengthen not just from our homes but to our town, states, country to the world. But women need to empower each other most importantly in order to thrive instead of seeing each other as competition, we need to collaborate and create that chain reaction to be a force of nature that we were built to be. Also, it’s important to note that recognizing your worth and strength as women shouldn’t diminish the role and importance of men in our lives and the world, we need to work together- we are not separate but built to be interdependent. I do not believe there should be equality rather equity and that will help society to build a great future for our kids”.