Debra Gano is the CEO, Publisher, & Founding Editor of BYOU ‘Be Your Own You’ magazine, a national self-esteem publication for girls ages 8-16, and the best-selling author of the Heartlight Girls series. As a passionate advocate for women’s & girls empowerment, she is a sought-after national speaker and self-esteem expert for television, radio, and print media. Her book, Beauty’s Secret, A Girl’s Discovery of Inner Beauty, is the recipient of multiple national awards, including Gold Winner of the Mom’s Choice Award and Children’s Fiction First Place in the USA Book News National Best Books Awards. Her work has been endorsed by many best-selling empowerment authors including Jack Canfield and Marianne Williamson, girls’ organizations such as the Girl Scouts and Smart-Girl, Inc., educators, counselors, corporations, and parents and girls alike.
Debra is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business with an extensive 20-year history in the fashion industry. She may be best known, however, for her work as an international model/actress featured in print, film, television, and runways around the world, working with some of Hollywood’s top actors and premier fashion designers worldwide. After a series of life-changing incidences, including a near-fatal car accident, Debra’s perspective shifted from one of superficial external-focus to a deeper inner awareness that “it’s what’s inside that counts.” Driven with a passion to share this and empower others, and as a single mother of a one-year old girl, Debra abandoned her ‘glamour’ career to dedicate her life to teaching and coaching others to live authentically in their most empowered sense of self. As founder of Heartlight Girls and BYOU ‘Be Your Own You’ Magazine (and still a single mom), Debra leads by example and is an inspiration to all. She lives in Denver, CO with her 14-year-old daughter, Ella.
Recently, in September 2015, Debra appeared on a Michigan talk show to discuss back-to-school anxiety and ways to build up confidence before, or during, the school year. Watch the interview with WOTV4Women below, and be sure to check out more discussion on back-to-school anxiety by CLICKING HERE.
In April 2015, Debra was interview by Henna Hundal for Express Yourself! Teen Radio. Henna and her teen co-host Katelyn Darrow asked Debra about her journey that led her to not only become a best-selling author, but to launch an empowering magazine for girls that now has worldwide distribution. Debra shares her story and her passion to empower girls, along with inspiring advice on how to use the power to affirmation to create a more fulfilled life. Check out the audio below!