Message from the Executive Director
Dear friends,

This is one of the most exciting times of the year for us as we have the privilege of awarding grants to empower girls across Minnesota. During Thanksgiving week, we gave the news to 112 girls that they will receive a grant to pursue their dreams. This is a special moment that we get to share with the girls and their families. It is humbling as well as heartfelt; these girls are our future leaders.

While it's a time of much celebration, there are also clear signs that girls are at risk with rapidly rising threats to their well-being. We need to challenge ourselves to find new ways to reach these girls and to help them build the confidence, strength, and resilience they need to thrive and in some cases, to survive.

Just last week, I read two very sobering articles: The New York Times article highlighting emergency room visits by teenage girls rising to 51 percent for girls in early 2021, compared with rates in 2019. That number went up by four percent for boys. The Surgeon General also issued a report that youth - particularly girls - face a mental health crisis that started before the pandemic and accelerated sharply as rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide attempts rose significantly. These reports highlight the reality of isolation and a feeling of helplessness that many girls, especially from historically marginalized communities, are navigating. 
The need for support for girls is clear! Support to decrease feelings of helplessness and increase feelings of self-advocacy; support to reduce feelings of isolation and increase feelings of connectedness; support that communicates that they are powerful change agents, because they truly are!!
It is why we proudly celebrate the courage of these 112 fall Trailblazers from 19 counties in Minnesota. Thank you to all who applied, shared your stories, dreams, humanity, and yes, courage. 
To the mentors who guided the process, the volunteers who read applications, and the supporters who seeded these dreams: THANK YOU! ABF is able to nurture a girl's belief to be more because of your support and partnership. 
Please join me in celebration and with a renewed commitment to doing more in 2022!
With immense gratitude,
Ethelind B. Kaba
Our New Trailblazers are Going Places
We were impressed by the breadth of dreams and experiences that girls across want to pursue with their grants ranging from dance to visiting a Gettysburg battlefield at night to marketing a new mobile app promoting recycling. Here are a few other stories of what our new Trailblazers are doing with their grants.

Tita, 16, Kandiyohi County, is looking forward to seeing the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Tita says the grant money will help her follow her curiosity and to make travel possible.

Yahira, 14, Anoka County, will join the YMCA Youth in Government Program to get a first-hand look at how legislators, judges, and media representatives do their jobs.

Sun Shine, 17, Ramsey County, plans to use her grant toward expenses of a school trip to Japan where she hopes to learn more about another Asian culture.

Alyson, 17, Sherburne County, plans to use her grant for travel expenses to take part in speech tournaments. She wants to use her voice for good.

Fredo, 15, Dakota County, wants to move to the next level in her sport by playing AAU basketball; her dream is to play college basketball.

Congratulations to all of our grantees, and welcome to the Class of 2021 Trailblazers. We are honored to play a part in your journeys and look forward to seeing where you will go in the future.
Help us Fund Spring Grants
There are only 45 days until our spring grant season opens on February 1, 2022. You can help girls write a new story for themselves by donating to help fund more girls next year as we seek to expand our reach. To donate with a tax-deductible gift by year-end, just click the box below.
Thank you for Making GTMD a Huge Success!
Thanks to you, we set a giving record for our GTMD campaign. We raised more than $40,000 as our supporters said a resounding "yes!' to girls. We exceeded our first goal before 8:00 a.m. and raised it twice in 24 hours as we got a new matching gift mid-day. You amazed and inspired us with your giving. We are encouraged that so many are prioritizing the well-being of girls.

We're Growing! New Career Openings
We’re building our capacity to support Minnesota girls in 2022 and beyond. We are hiring for the positions of Operations Manager and Development Director, two key roles that will be central to our mission. Thank you for your interest and please, share with your networks.
Celebrate with us April 28
On April 28, we will celebrate our 25th anniversary with a renewed commitment to reaching girls across Minnesota as we create a pipeline of tomorrow’s leaders who believe in their power and courageously wield it to transform their communities.
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