I’ve been thinking lately about the role of education in the lives of young people today. Of course, I believe in education as a central element in our overall preparedness for what life throws our way and in our ultimate ability to succeed. However, I also believe strongly in enrichment and empowerment initiatives for young people outside of school and sports in order to bolster and add to what our young people are learning – especially, for young women. Often it is a relationship, an opportunity, or a unique inspirational moment that can “stick” with us and set us on the path that makes us the people we are today. Given that ANN INC. is a company made up of 95% women, with a customer base of 100% women, we feel it’s our responsibility to empower the next generation of young female leaders, and we take this commitment very seriously.
We have been working with Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international non-governmental organization, on an inspiring initiative called ANNpower. Its sole mission is to empower young women (of high school age), and provide them with leadership training and opportunities to meet with accomplished leaders worldwide. The program strives to find and nurture the unique spark within each young woman, helping her to cultivate and grow her unique voice over time – so that she will eventually use it to do great things in her community.