Ashby girl with dogsledding dreams receives grant from Ann Bancroft FoundationThe Ann Bancroft Foundation (ABF) has reached a significant milestone. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the Foundation has awarded grants to 3,000 girls. ABF grants help girls take the first steps toward fresh possibilities. They serve as a springboard to the next exploration and help girls to gain a new perspective on their own abilities and goals.
The Ann Bancroft Foundation (ABF) has reached a significant milestone. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the Foundation has awarded grants to 3,000 girls. ABF grants help girls take the first steps toward fresh possibilities. They serve as a springboard to the next exploration and help girls to gain a new perspective on their own abilities and goals.
The Foundation will celebrate its 15th anniversary of supporting girls and women at a special event beginning at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at the U of M’s McNamara Center. ABF will share stories of hope, courage and impact, and will shine a bright light on its progress and accomplishments.
One of the many girls ABF grants have supported is Sarah Anderson, a 16-year-old girl from Ashby, a small town in western Minnesota. A 10th grader at Ashby High School, Sarah loved dogsledding. Her dream is to open a dogsledding business on her grandparent's farm and to teach kids how to do the adventurous activity. Her first hurdle, though, was to learn more about dog sledding.
Like many extracurricular school activities however, learning how to dogsled costs money, which was financially out of reach.
“I remembered hearing about the Ann Bancroft Foundation, which offered small grants to girls that need that little boost in life to lift them up to the next step,” said Helen Etnier, who, along with her husband John, helped Sarah apply for a grant. “The fees to join the sport were all that stood in her way.”
Upon learning she had been awarded the grant, Sarah believed she had a glimpse into her future. She realized this new focus would mold her education choices, helping to shape her career and affect her life.
“After taking dogsledding courses and becoming proficient at the sport, Sarah had faith in the future, knowing she was well on her way to making her dream come true,” said Etnier. “Sarah had found new skills that she believed would transfer to professional goals. It’s remarkable how this modest grant has impacted this young girl’s life.”
The Ann Bancroft Foundation works to create a world where every woman and girl has a chance to live her wild dream and reach her full potential.
“We have seen firsthand that by recognizing and nurturing courage, risk taking, integrity and individuality, we can change lives,” said explorer and educator, Ann Bancroft. “Girls discover new self-confidence and self-knowledge as they open their eyes to a broader world -- and to new possibilities within themselves.”
ABF’s grants fund meaningful experiences for underserved girls. The Foundation responds to the need to support girls who have the ambition and courage to take the next step but who need help putting their dreams into action. The modest grants of up to $500 can be a powerful boost at a critical stage in a girl’s life, and sometimes the grants may indeed have played a key role in a girl’s future. ABF offers two granting programs that give girls a chance to stretch, try, experiment, dream and play. Dare to Dream grants are cultural experiences such a music lessons, camp or an experience that enable them to explore an interest. Let Me Play grants are specific to sports and fitness experiences, allowing them to enjoy all the benefits that sports bring to a girl’s life.
Over the years, ABF has collected numerous heartwarming stories about girls who dare to dream and about women who support those dreams -- women who have stepped into the incredibly transformational role of mentor.
“Powerful women are girls who were encouraged to dream,” said Bancroft. “The world urgently needs the leadership of women because they play a central role in a girl’s journey. They clearly understand that being a mentor is a critical piece of the support system a girl needs to succeed.”
15th Anniversary Celebration
ABF’s April 25th anniversary event, “dreamXchange: a Celebration of the Possible,” will feature dozens of former Ann Bancroft Award winners and Dare to Dream grant recipients, past and present. Girls and women will share stories of hope and courage, and how the Foundation’s modest investments and actions have had profound results. Guests will also enjoy an interactive Hall of Dreams exhibit, lively demonstrations and plenty of good, old-fashioned storytelling.
Proceeds from the event will further the efforts of the Ann Bancroft Foundation. The presenting sponsor is Wolf@Best Buy. For ticket information contact www.annbancroftfoundation.org