Last spring, 50 outstanding young women were selected to become ANNpower Fellows, coming together in Washington, D.C. for the first annual ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum. There, they were provided with skills, training and mentorship to help them realize their full leadership potential. The 2012 ANNpower Fellows were then charged with going back to their communities and implementing their ideas.
In October, 14 Fellows were selected to receive project grants of up to $2,500 to help transform these ideas in to action. From engaging teens in social justice art projects, to training Teen Court volunteers to better serve at-risk youth, the Fellows will be working to affect change across the country.
Sydney, Emily and Rachel are three of the 2012 ANNpower grantees who are committed to creating positive and sustainable change in their communities.
In St. Louis, Sydney hopes to increase literacy while also providing a platform for writers to use their voices to catalyze social change. She plans to create and sell a literary magazine, The Metro Review, with the goal of “changing as many lives as we can through the power of reading.” She will use the profits to buy books for disadvantaged children.
In Louisville, Emily is working to tackle poverty and hunger. Emily has always had a love for cooking, and her project allows her to share this passion with others in her community while also paying it forward. Her program will teach underprivileged families in her community healthy eating habits through informative cooking classes.
In Atlanta, Rachel is working to create an online platform to help promote cross-cultural understanding amongst middle school children. Driven by the belief that “cultural differences should be celebrated and embraced” in order to prevent conflicts from arising around the world. Her project, Kids Meeting Point (KidsMeetingPoint.com), is an online discussion forum that features key information, educational games, recipes and music about different cultures.
Over the next six months, Sydney, Emily, Rachel, and the entire group of 2012 ANNpower Grant Recipients will be working to make the ideas that they are passionate about into a reality. Stay tuned to this blog and ANNpower.org for updates!
Do you know a girl who wants to change the world?
The application for the 2013 class of ANNpower Fellows is now open! Apply now until January 21. The 2013 ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum will take place April 1 – April 4, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
About the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative
The ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative is a groundbreaking partnership with ANN INC., the parent company of Ann Taylor and LOFT. The program works to empower young women from across the U.S. to affect global progress, invest in their communities and begin their journey as the next generation of leaders.
Maya Babla helps manage the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative in her role as Program Coordinator for Leadership & Mentoring.
Images of 2012 ANNpower Grant Recipients Diana (top) and Sydney (in text) by Micky Wiswedel.