The ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative is a partnership between Ann Inc., parent company of Ann Taylor and Loft, and Vital Voices Global Partnership to empower young women from across the U.S. with the leadership skills they need to affect global progress, invest in their communities and begin their journeys as the next generation of leaders.
Vital Voices Global Partnership is a leading non-governmental organization that identifies, invests in and brings visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities.
Founded by Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 1997, the organization trains and mentors women leaders as agents of transformative change in economic development, human rights and political participation. The Vital Voices Global Leadership Network includes more than 14,000 leaders representing 144 countries who have trained and mentored 500,000 additional women and girls in their communities.
Ann Inc. and Vital Voices Global Partnership recently announced the 2014 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 include building mentorship programs for girls interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), addressing healthy eating in their communities and 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."
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 sophomores and juniors, to become ANNpower Fellows. As their first step in their leadership journey, these Fellows will participate in the 2014 ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C., June 16-19.
At the three-day ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum, the 50 Fellows will undergo comprehensive leadership training from influential women leaders who are part of the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network, as well as executives from Ann Inc., including Kay Krill. The forum's curriculum will equip the aspiring young leaders with the training and mentorship they need to realize their full potential as future 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 ANNpower Leadership 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 affected more than 16,000 people in 12 countries around the world.