The ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative recently announced the 2014 ANNpower Fellows. All of the young women who have been chosen will receive leadership training and be mentored by global women leaders, including members of the ANNpower Advisory Council.
In January 2014, Ann Taylor and LOFT launched a nationwide campaign in-stores and online to identify the next generation of female leaders and invite them to apply to become ANNpower Fellows. Through the most competitive application process to-date, ANN INC., in partnership with Vital Voices, selected the 50 girls, who are high school sophomore and juniors, to become ANNpower Fellows
The newly selected ANNpower Fellows hail from 25 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada, and share a common interest in creating effective and sustainable solutions to challenges in their communities.
Their ideas range from building mentorship programs for girls interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), addressing healthy eating in their communities to environmental preservation.
"I am thrilled with the innovative ideas and impressive talent that we have seen during this year’s application period," said Kay Krill, President and CEO of ANN INC. "It truly goes to show how outstanding these 50 young women are to have risen to the top of such a competitive application pool, which has tripled over last year. They are fearless in their quest to make a difference in their communities and the world, and it is a privilege for ANN INC. to play a part in their path to leadership."
The young women represent a diverse and dynamic group including Elanie, a junior who wants to make a difference in her community in the Washington Heights section of New York City. She plans to develop a mentorship program for socioeconomically disadvantaged high school students to encourage them to pursue a college education.
Meet Abby, a sophomore at The Pingry School in New Jersey. Abby is very passionate about creating special programs and activities for the children temporarily residing at her local homeless shelter. These children inspired her to find a way to assist other homeless and low-income children throughout the State of New Jersey through the foundation she started, Teams For Kids, Inc.
Catherine, a sophomore at St. Luke's School in Connecticut, has a goal is to serve women and their families in the breast cancer journey. Catherine plays on her school's soccer team and volunteers for a local grassroots tennis program as a mentor and community liaison.
Erin, a junior at Williamston High School in Michigan, participates in her school's National Honor Society, marching band, symphony band, and jazz band, and is a member of the tennis team. Erin is passionate about getting youth involved in their community and helping raise awareness about poverty and human rights.
Merone, a sophomore at the Marin School of Environmental Leadership in California, is a peer educator in Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) and a peer counselor in Youth Court. Merone is passionate about taking care of the environment, sustainable agriculture and cooking nutritious meals.
Nicole, a junior at The Seven Hills School in Ohio, is a member of the Mock Trial and Science Olympiad teams who spends most of her extracurricular time training, competing and performing as a tap dancer. Nicole hopes to combine a passion for helping children with mental disabilities and her interest in math and science to make a meaningful contribution to society.
These are a few of the 2014 ANNpower Fellows who will use ANNpower grant money to put into action their plans to effect positive change within their communities.
From June 16-19, the young women will participate in the ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum, a three-day leadership training and mentorship program in Washington, D.C. During the Forum, the young women will receive leadership training, unique mentorship opportunities and will meet with internationally renowned women leaders.
“The ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum provides a unique opportunity to connect our Fellows to a powerful network of women leaders from around the world. We encourage these talented leaders to break barriers and push for innovative solutions and progress in their communities as true change-makers," said Vital Voices President and CEO, Alyse Nelson.
Armed with the skills they learn at the Forum, the Fellows will return to their communities tasked with creating projects to affect positive social change. Each Fellow will be eligible to receive an ANNpower Project Grant to put her ideas into action. To date, ANNpower Fellows have positively impacted more than 16,000 people in 12 countries around the world.
Advisory Council members include actresses Kate Hudson and Jennifer Morrison; Anne Fulenwider, Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire; and Kay Krill, President and CEO of ANN INC.
ANNpower is a partnership between ANN INC., the parent company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, and Vital Voices Global Partnership.