Dear Friends –

Greetings from the Ann Bancroft Foundation! As summer continues, we are excited to bring you the latest news and inspiring stories. This summer, we continue our journey of empowerment by encouraging our community to “Capture Courage” by pushing boundaries and exploring new horizons.

As we prepare for our Fall 2023 grant cycle, we remember the importance of trying new things and escaping our comfort zones. All of our Trailblazers accomplish incredible things beyond the scope of their funded activities. The grants that they receive are just the beginning of their stories. Let's check in with some of our grantees!

Stirrup Success at the Rodeo

Sisters Maelee and Kes of Greenbush, MN, share a love of rodeos!

Maelee, 9th Grade

What is one fun thing you are doing this summer?: I earned a state fair trip for 4-H gaming with my horse BigBoy. We have been competing and traveling to rodeos most of this summer and have been placing in the top 5 in junior barrels.

What is one hard thing you are doing this summer?: I’m really working on my ability to be more social and stepping out of my comfort zone meeting new people.

Kes, 4th Grade

What is one fun thing you are doing this summer?: I have been riding in 3 events in Wojo's Rodeo circuit; mini broncs, jr barrels and I just started goat tying. I won a belt buckle and halter from our county 4-H fair for reserved champion with my horse Woodrow.

What is one hard thing you are doing this summer?: I get kinda nervous in the bucking shoot before riding mini-broncs and I really didn’t want to try goat tying but I did it for the first time and it was so much fun!

Learning through Adventure

This spring, five girls received grants for a transformational science trip to Madagascar. Activities included diving as part of a reef ecology course. 90% of the flora and fauna found in Madagascar is endemic, meaning most of the animals and plants are found nowhere else in the world! On this trip, these grantees had a unique chance to learn about ecology. When girls study science, they can break barriers and conduct cutting-edge research for our world!

Grants and Bright Futures

Last week, we had a visit from Kate, a former grantee! She received her original grant in Fall 2019 for dance. Kate was one of the first applicants for the Trailblazer Fellowship. With her second grant, Kate bought a computer for school, which helped her manage a recent dyslexia diagnosis. In the fall, she is headed to Iowa State to continue her education. Her dream is to be an entrepreneur and have a health and wellness business. We love getting visits and messages from former grantees. If you would like to get into contact with us, send us an email!

Share Your Summer #CaptureCourage Story!


Grant Applications Open Soon!

Our fall cycle begins on August 1st! That means girls across Minnesota can apply for grants that support their dreams. The application will open on August 1st and close on October 1st. With these grants, girls gain confidence, learn about themselves, and find their place in the world. Encourage a girl to apply today!

Apply Starting August 1st!


Thank You to Walser Auto Group!

In June, we were honored to be one of four nonprofits in Walser Auto Group's Shop for a Cause event. The Ann Bancroft Foundation will receive over $27,000 from the month-long event. Thanks to this donation, dozens of girls can chase their dreams and unlock their potential to change the world. Thank you so much to all who participated in this event!

Fund a Dream Today

Invest in girls and help shape the future of our world. You can do so with a one-time or recurring gift. With a recurring monthly gift of $87, you can fund a dream and give a girl the tools she needs to change her life and transform her community. Every girl has the potential to excel, and every girl deserves that chance. By donating, you can give a girl the tools to succeed.

Give Now


Have you ever wondered what happens at the Ann Bancroft Foundation during summer? We reconcile our databases after our annual celebration, and prepare our annual report, audits, and taxes. We also invest time in learning and building relationships. To that end, we held two retreats--one for staff only and one for our entire organization, including board and committee members. We fostered deeper connections and engaged with past board members Jan Malcolm and Sharon Olson. We also leaned into the core elements of our organization and our new Adaptive Strategic Plan.

Our staff also spend intentional time recharging and reenergizing before a sprint towards year-end initiatives and our 2024 annual celebration. With this goal, we have half-day summer Fridays, enjoying afternoons off. Check out how we spend time off work. 

Amy Eppen, Director of Development, curled up on her couch with a good book.

Ethelind Kaba, Executive Director, has committed to using her half Fridays to take swim lessons. 

Lauren Skar, Program Coordinator, went on a hike with her mom at Ely's Peak in Duluth.

Leah Prinz, Communications Specialist, walked around Lake Harriet with a friend.

Grace Schreder, Operations Administrator and Executive Assistant, is currently on vacation in Australia. We hope she will attend a match at the Women's World Cup!

Melanie Vang, Program Intern, took the kids she was babysitting to the park and the beach.

Where to Watch the World Cup

The Ann Bancroft Foundation supports women making history in sports. Check out this article to find the best places to catch a game in the Twin Cities. The World Cup runs from July 20 to August 20. Although many games are at odd hours, Black Hart of Saint Paul will be open for all U.S.A. games, and Merlin's Rest features many replays. However you watch and whoever you root for, tune in to these games and support women's sports everywhere!

Learn Where to Watch


Writing Workshop August 2nd

Don't miss this upcoming webinar! Looking to sharpen your writing skills? Thinking about your essay for college applications, scholarships or other important essays? This interactive workshop will walk through writing exercises. Join ABF mentor Karlyn Coleman an author, teacher, and educational specialist at Lerner Publishing and her mentee, Trailblazer Maya, as they share advice for writing your college application essays.

The workshop is on Wednesday, August 2, from 1:00 - 2:00 PM on Zoom. Register with the link below!

Sign up 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!

Save the Date- Annual Event on April 25th, 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.


Check out the Duluth Summer Farmer's Market! Youth under 18 get $4 to spend on fresh produce. Connect with your local growers and get nutritious foods. The market is held from 3-6 PM on Thursdays in Lincoln Park and 2-5 PM on Tuesdays in Central Hillside.

Learn about STEM career paths at Creative Arts Secondary School on Friday, August 1st, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Hear from Saint Paul's mayor, Melvin Carter! Attendees can hear from experts and earn money!

Register Here
Read the Article


[Via Winona Post] This week, Spring 2023 grant recipient Maddie Lemmer competes at the National Judicial Competition in St. Paul. In her application, Maddie said "Through this experience, I hope to discover who I want to be as a leader. This activity will put me in situations similar to those I may be in as a lawyer. I hope to learn valuable life skills such as persistence and strength as well as courage and kindness." Congratulations to Maddie!


[Via Forbes] Our founder, Ann Bancroft, recently got a profile in Forbes. She discusses (among other things) her fears, her inspirations, extreme cold, and a case of mistaken identity with a certain Hollywood actress.

Read the Article

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 summer filled with exploration and joy. 

The Ann Bancroft Foundation Team

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