Dear Friends –

Greetings from the Ann Bancroft Foundation! As summer wraps up, our Fall grant cycle continues to receive applications. However, grants are just one part of each Trailblazer (grantee) story. The Ann Bancroft Foundation could not operate without the support from a community of donors, volunteers, and powerful Trailblazers. We also know that our Trailblazers exist within wider communities and networks of support.

This month, the Ann Bancroft Foundation strives to look at the bigger picture. We celebrate everything that our Trailblazers accomplish, and all it takes to get them there.

Big Steps to Bigger Dreams

Congratulations to Mercy (left) and Luncho (right) of Spring Lake Park High School! Both girls attended the FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America) national competition this July in Denver, Colorado. Mercy competed in Entrepreneurship, earning 5th place out of 100 in the nation. Luncho competed in Career Investigation and placed 11th.

Their advisor Lori Henry, wrote to ABF with pride. She said "the girls wouldn't have had this experience to strengthen their leadership skills" without support from the Ann Bancroft Foundation.

Beyond the competition, Luncho plans to become a lawyer, and Mercy hopes to attend Duke University. A grant from ABF is just one part of each girl's path to success.

Read More from Mercy


Apply for a Grant Today!

Our fall cycle is open until October 1st! With a grant from the Ann Bancroft Foundation, K-12 girl-identifying youth can receive up to $1000 to pursue their dreams. These grants expand what is possible for girls, giving them the opportunity to unleash their potential. Every girl has dreams, so encourage someone you know to apply for a grant today!

Apply for a Grant from ABF!

Watch an Application Tutorial

Need help getting started on your application? The Ann Bancroft Foundation has video tutorials for you! We have tutorials on the applicant section of the application as well as the mentor section, answering frequently asked questions and addressing common errors.

Watch the Application Tutorials
Donate Now

Help Girls Achieve this Fall

We already have applications rolling in for our Fall cycle! Here are a few excerpts from applications:

"I would like to dance on stage with someone like Beyonce when I grow up! I think dancing will help me accomplish this goal as long as I keep getting better and working on my dances and technique." - Age 8 from Brooklyn Park, MN

"A big dream of mine is to be able to get a full ride for volleyball. Being able to get this grant for club season will help me achieve this goal, because I will be able to play volleyball all year round instead of just high school season." - Age 15 from Eden Prairie, MN

Gifts of any size are appreciated and can be made online or send a check to: Ann Bancroft Foundation, 2356 University Ave. W., Suite 404, St. Paul, MN, 55068


The Ann Bancroft Foundation is supported by a community made up of alumnae who have received grants (“Trailblazers”), mentors who guide the process, partners and volunteers who enhance the impact, and supporters who fund our approach. We take pride in the growing network of people who eagerly claim membership in our community. This month, we introduce you to one of our fearless volunteers, Suzanne. 

An Interview with Suzanne Weinstein, ABF Volunteer

There’s nothing Suzanne Weinstein can’t do. Ask her for 70 salad plates 3 hours before a gala and she will figure out how to get you exactly that with time to spare. In 1981, she started Coastal Seafoods despite only a few weeks of experience in wholesale seafood distributing. Since selling her business in 2016, Suzanne has tirelessly worked to improve her community, including volunteer work at the Ann Bancroft Foundation. She served on the auction committee for our 25th anniversary event, as well as our annual event in April 2023. Read about her proudest accomplishments, experiences with ABF, and advice for the next generation.

Q: What initially inspired you about the Ann Bancroft Foundation’s mission?

A: What they did for empowering girls. I just thought it was great and I wanted to volunteer.

Q: What was your experience like as a volunteer with ABF?

A:  The 2022 gala was the first big event the foundation put on since the pandemic.  It was exciting to be a part of the 25th year celebration.  I remember meeting in the hotel with the staff and committee, we all wondered how we were going to fill up the space with guests. We did it, and the event was so incredibly successful. It was fun for me to get donations from a large variety of people I know.  The whole experience in 2022 was great. I enjoyed being a part of the success.  In 2023 I was also able to get donations for the silent and live auction.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Q: What lesson would you give to your younger self?

A: Don’t give up. I’m pretty persistent, I’ve always been pretty persistent. I firmly believe in asking people for help. If they are not able to help, usually they know someone who could. I love networking

Read the Full Profile Here


Sign up Here

Empowering her Financial Future- October 26th

Financial literacy is an essential life skill that empowers individuals to make informed and confident financial decisions. Through this workshop, girls will gain tools and knowledge they need to begin building habits for a strong financial foundation. By instilling strong financial skills at a younger age, we are nurturing a generation of financially savvy women who can make informed choices about their future. For many of our grantees, the transition to college marks a big change in making and managing money. Sign up for a seminar on personal finance with the Ann Bancroft Foundation coming up on October 26. Register now!

Upcoming Trailblazer Fellowship

Last year, the Ann Bancroft Foundation introduced our first Trailblazer Fellowship. This program provided grants up to $2500 to 9th-12th graders who received a grant previously. These funds went to everything from app development to a brand new viola. Interested in joining the fellowship? Fill out the application to get a reminder email when the form opens.

Photo: Our 2023 Trailblazer Fellows

Sign Up for a Reminder

Fundraiser at Famous Dave's

Craving some barbecue? Go to Famous Dave's (1930 West 7th Street, St. Paul) on Thursday, October 19th, and mention ABF. 20% of proceeds will go to the Ann Bancroft Foundation to help us fund grants! This offer works for both dine-in and takeout. Register below!

Commit to the Fundraiser

Kick off Fall with ABF

The Ann Bancroft Foundation will be in Duluth this September for Chester Bowl Fall Fest! We'll share our granting programs and connect with the Duluth community about amazing opportunities. The festival is on Saturday, September 16th, from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM. If you are in the area, stop by our booth and say hello to staff!

Learn More about Fall Fest

Cheer Us On at the Great River Race

The Ann Bancroft Foundation will paddle on the Mississippi River at the Wilderness Inquiry annual Great River Race! Come root for ABF as staff, board members, and community members race in a 24-foot canoe. We still have spots left in our boat, so email to join us on the water. The event starts at Hidden Falls Regional Park on Saturday, September 16th, at 8:30 am. Cheering opportunities are best around 9:00 am for the kickoff and 11:45 am as boats finish up.

Learn More about the Great River Race

Save the Date- Annual Event on April 25, 2024

Mark your calendars for our much-anticipated annual celebration, where we come together as a community to celebrate and honor trailblazing girls and women. More details to follow.


Share Your Story of Courage

The Wildling helps youth express their feelings and experiences through the power of storytelling. Their Story Booth program creates "capsules" of audio stories on different themes. At the Ann Bancroft Foundation, we know that centering youth voices can change the world. That's why we are partnering with The Wildling to create a Story Booth capsule on the theme "Imagine Something Bigger." We want to hear stories from young people about courage, connection, and confidence. Boldly use your voice and share your thoughts with us!

Record Your Story

Catching Up With Our Trailblazers

Did you receive an Ann Bancroft Foundation grant from 1997-2005? Give us an update! With thousands of alumni, our Trailblazers have gone to do incredible things. Fill out this brief form to catch up with ABF and have a chance at an exciting opportunity.

Fill Out the Form


The Power of Women's Sports

[Via MinnPost] The Women's World Cup may be over, but the global power of women in sports continues to grow. Ethelind B. Kaba, our Executive Director, penned an opinion piece for MinnPost on the importance of watching the Women's World Cup with her daughter.

Read the Article

College Essay Writing Help

Applying to college can be stressful and overwhelming. That's why earlier this month, the Ann Bancroft Foundation hosted a webinar on advice for writing the dreaded college essay. The session was hosted by Karlyn Coleman, an author, teacher, and educational specialist at Lerner Publishing, and her mentee, Maya, a Trailblazer and sophomore at UW Madison. In case you missed the seminar, here are the top five takeaways to perfect your writing.

College Essay Writing- Top Five Takeaways


Play Hockey for Free

4-9 year-old girls can try out ice hockey in St. Paul's Highland Arena. There's no need to bring any equipment, as all will be provided free of charge. Try out the game on September 15th and 16th.

Get More Event Details

Design Housing & Community Spaces

Are you interested in developing homeownership opportunities for young people in the Twin Cities? Join the Youth Cooperative Homeownership Initiative with Youthprise. Eligible people ages 16-24 can attend an info session on September 8th to learn more about this opportunity.

Learn More about the Initiative


[Via The Newsleaders] Madison Mueller, 17, travelled to Germany this summer with the help of a grant from the Ann Bancroft Foundation. The Kimball, MN, resident visited a German friend who had stayed with her family the previous summer. The exchange program gave Madison a chance to learn about German language and culture. Madison worked with the German American Partnership Program for this three-week long trip. In her application, she wrote that this would prepare her for the independence of going to college.

Read the Article
Humphrey Awards Information


The annual Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Awards recognize individuals who have contributed to the common good with their leadership. We at ABF can think of no two people more deserving than Ann Bancroft and Jan Malcolm. Ann is our fearless founder, and Jan, a former board chair, has been with ABF since the very beginning. The awards ceremony honoring Ann, Jan, and three other awardees will be held on Thursday, September 21st.

Thank you for your unwavering support in making dreams come true. Together, we will continue to pave the way for a more inclusive, courageous, and adventurous world. 

Wishing you a joyful end to the summer and new possibilities in the fall.

The Ann Bancroft Foundation Team

DONATE: Invest in girls – and help shape the future of our world.
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