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ANN INC. And Vital Voices Award Twenty ANNpower Project Grants To Emerging Female Leaders

NEW YORK, Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ANN INC., the parent Company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, and Vital Voices Global Partnership are honored to announce the 2013 ANNpower Grantees, a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action. The young women represent a diverse group of high school students who are committed to driving positive social change in their home communities.

As part of the ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum last spring, the ANNpower Grantees were provided with leadership training and mentorship from women leaders from the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network, as well as executives from ANN INC.  Armed with this knowledge, they developed projects that will make a significant difference in communities across the country and received ANNpower Project Grants to bring their ideas to life. The funded projects address a wide range of critical social issues today, from promoting sustainable living choices through recycled art, to providing mentoring and networking workshops, to increasing female participation and interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields at an early age. 

"We are so proud to invest in these incredible young women who are starting to establish themselves as strong, confident leaders within their communities," said Kay Krill, President and CEO of ANN INC. "We look forward to empowering each of these young women to cultivate and grow their unique voices and passions as they set out to make their first of many imprints in the world."

The 2013 ANNpower Grantees awarded are:
  • Anjana from Shorewood, Wisconsin who is educating girls about the importance of gender equality and the Millennium Development Goals.
  • Alexandra from Stamford, Connecticut who is creating a store for low-income families in her community, called Handled with Care.
  • Carolina from Centreville, Virginia who is creating mentoring and networking opportunities for teen girls in her community.
  • Charlotte from Leavenworth, Washington who is working to promote sustainable life choices through art projects using recycled materials.
  • Neha from Fort Pierce, Florida who is creating a series of workshops for middle school girls, stimulating their interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
  • Rabiah from Cordova, Tennessee who is launching a mentoring program for teen girls who are refugees to the United States.
  • Ariela from New Haven, Connecticut who is instilling the importance of education and a healthy lifestyle in young Latina girls through the Girls Boxing Club (GBC).
  • Abriana from Villanova, Pennsylvania who is launching a pen pal and cultural exchange program between students at her high school and Darfuri refugees in Chad through an online platform.
  • Lindsay from Quincy, Massachusetts who is instilling confidence and empowering girls in her community through leadership development workshops.
  • Laura from Tallahassee, Florida who is planning to organize a major event to bring awareness to the issue of human trafficking.
  • Jane from Oberlin, Ohio who is sparking interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) among young girls.
  • Nadyah from Bel Air, Maryland who is supporting the creation of a community learning center in Sri Lanka by working with students in her high school to collect supplies and raise awareness of global issues surrounding girls in developing countries.
  • Alisha from Bellevue, Washington who is working on an online community of mentors and students that uses a crowd-sourcing model to deliver content that builds technical prowess from an early age. 
  • Abigail from Leonardtown, Maryland who is working to address the increased risk of drowning for socioeconomically disadvantaged children and Amish children through Swimming Safety School (3S).
  • Elizabeth from Greensboro, North Carolina who is creating mentoring relationships between girls starting middle school with girls about to finish high school.
  • Drucila from Bronx, New York who is creating a documentary telling the stories of individual people who have overcome personal challenges.
  • Laura from San Antonio, Puerto Rico who is partnering with the Department of Education to implement her campaign to prevent child abuse in 30 public and private schools throughout Puerto Rico.
  • Karly from Vero Beach, Florida who is using some of the recycled tennis balls she collects through her nonprofit Balls Go Round to create holiday ornaments for American troops stationed abroad.
  • Molly from Waltham, Massachusetts who is setting up an "imagination station" of non-electronic toys and games for children in long-term care at the hospital.
  • Shivonne from Palo Alto, California who is building an online community to discuss global women's issues and creating a speaker series for girls in her community to gain exposure to established women leaders.

Through these projects, the ANNpower Grantees are creating a ripple effect of change that is estimated to positively impact more than 5,500 members of their collective communities throughout the country each year.  "I truly believe in the ripple effect.  If my project inspired even one or two girls to pursue their passions, then it was a success.  They will grow up and pay it forward, inspiring other girls to do the same," said Monica Mishra, a 2012 ANNpower Fellow and Grantee, who is expected to speak about her experience with the ANNpower Initiative together with Kay Krill on September 25 at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting.  

The ANNpower Project Grants are awarded based on a comprehensive review process of the project proposals by ANN INC. and Vital Voices leadership, as well as the newly appointed ANNpower Advisory Council, comprised of influential women leaders in media, business, and entertainment.

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