ANNpower helping Maryland women become strong leaders - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

ANNpower helping Maryland women become strong leaders

People in our communities  are doing amazing things  every day to make the world a better place. And Maryland is lucky to be such a place.

I learned about  a young woman from Bel Air, Maryland, who was recently recognized on a national level for her commitment to driving positive social change within her community.

Nadyah Hilmi

Nadyah Hilmi

Nadyah Hilmi from Bel Air, Maryland is one of only20 young women from across the country to be awarded a grant today by ANN INC., the parent company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, and Vital Voices through the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative, a partnership dedicated to investing in the next generation of female leaders.

“Being a part of the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative has been an incredible experience for me, I feel very fortunate to be a part of this program,” Hilmi told Baltimore Post-Examiner.  “Through the grant I have received, I will be able to help educate my peers and community members on global issues related to women and girls and will create a cross cultural connection between girls in my community and girls in a shelter in Sri Lanka. I feel my project will help young girls in my community become more aware of global issues relating to girls and women. I hope that this project will encourage other young girls to take similar steps to make positive changes in the lives of others.”

The ANNpower Project grant will help fund Nadyah’s social change project within the community, which is focused on 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. Receiving this competitive recognition will help bring her community plans to the forefront of high-profile female leaders.

About the ANNpower Vital Leadership Forum

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.”

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.

“These young women are part of a powerful network of peers that will emerge together to blaze the trail as the next generation of leaders,” said Alyse Nelson, President and CEO of Vital Voices. “We are honored to partner with ANN INC. to invest in the visionary plans of these impressive young women and look forward to all they will accomplish.”

To learn more about the 2013 ANNpower Grantees, the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative, or the ANNpower Fellow application process, please visit

About the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative

The ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative is a groundbreaking partnership between ANN INC. 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.  ANN INC. has committed to invest more than $1.3 million over a four-year period in the ANNpower Initiative through its ANN Cares charitable platform. The ANNpower Initiative aims to provide leadership skills and mentorship to 50 ANNpower Fellows annually and is designed to positively impact more than 5,500 members of their collective communities throughout the country each year.

annpower2As part of the Initiative, the ANNpower Advisory Council was announced at the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative as a “Commitment to Action” and is comprised of influential women in media, business, and entertainment who have displayed exceptional leadership. Members of the Council review, score, and recommend outstanding grant proposals as well as serve as mentors to the Fellows and ambassadors of the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative to the public. The Council continues to be developed and currently includes award-winning actress Kate Hudson, actress Jennifer Morrison (“Once Upon a Time,” “House”), Anne Fulenwider, Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire, Shelly Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus and former CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, Kay Krill, President and CEO of ANN INC., and Alyse Nelson, President and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership.  Visit ANNpower.orgfor more information.
About ANN INC.

ANN INC. is the parent Company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, two of the leading women’s specialty retail fashion brands in North America.  As of August 3, 2013, the Company operated 1,007 Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Factory, LOFT and LOFT Outlet stores in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada.  Our Ann Taylor and LOFT brands are also available online in more than 100 countries worldwide at and  Visit for more information (NYSE: ANN).

About Vital Voices Global Partnership

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. Visit to learn more.


About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 400 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $73.5 billion.
CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world, and, this year, CGI Latin America, which will bring together Latin American leaders to identify, harness, and strengthen ways to improve the livelihoods of people in Latin America and around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.organd follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobaland Facebook at


About the author

Claire Bolden

Claire Bolden McGill is a British expat who lived in Maryland for three years and moved back to the UK in August 2015. Claire wrote about her life as a British expat on the East Coast and now works in travel and hospitality PR in the UK. She still finds time to blog about her repatriation and the reverse culture shock that ensued - and she still hasn't finished that novel, but she's working on it. You can contact Claire via twitter on @clairebmcgill or via her blog From America to England. Contact the author.

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