Our Winter 2019 Video Contest Runners-Up: Jacey and Kailee

Earlier this year, we launched a video contest to hear from ABF alumnae about their grant experiences. The runners-up from our competition were Jacey, D2D ’18, and Kailee, D2D ’07.


Jacey, now 12, received a Dare to Dream grant in the fall of 2018 to take cooking classes at Kitchen Window. Watch her video and hear about the process of applying for an ABF grant and why these classes will help Jacey achieve her dream.

Here is a transcript of Jacey’s video:

Hello everyone. My name is Jacey. I’m 11 years old, and my grant cycle was fall 2018. I’m about to show you an interview that I did explaining my grant experience with Ann Bancroft Foundation.

Q: Why did you choose to apply for the grant?

A: I chose to apply because I wanted to attend adult cooking classes. One, because I wanted the cooking knowledge. Two, I wanted to learn how to teach other people what I know about cooking because I want to open up my own healthy cooking school for kids.

Q: Did you enjoy the grant process?

A: I enjoyed the grant process. It was a fun couple months for me, between meeting with my mentor, filling out the application with her, smooshing them together. It was a really fun process. The only hard part was the waiting, trying to figure out whether you got notified or not in your head, like, “Did I make it? Did I make it?”

Q: How did you like having a mentor to help you?

A: I liked having a mentor. One, because she was really encouraging. Two, she helped correct my writing mistakes. And three, having new ideas and always being there for you.

I would like to say a big, big thank you to the Ann Bancroft Foundation for allowing me to achieve my dreams by giving me the grant money. It meant a lot to me. Cooking is one of my biggest passions, so that really made me happy that I would be able to attend those cooking classes. If you are looking to apply for the grant, I would definitely tell you yes. It was a wonderful experience for me, and I would love for you to have your dreams achieved through the Ann Bancroft Foundation.


Kailee received her ABF grant back in 2007 and currently works as a financial adviser. She also started a nonprofit that helps survivors of domestic violence. Watch Kailee talk about the impact of her Dare to Dream grant when she was in middle school.

Here is a transcript of Kailee’s video:

Hi, my name is Kailee Soderlund, and I received a grant from the Ann Bancroft Foundation in the spring of 2007 to attend track and field camp at the University of Minnesota.

I was in middle school, and being a girl in middle school is really tough sometimes—take it from somebody that’s been there and is really glad she’s not in middle school anymore!

During that season of my life, my parents were in the process of getting a divorce, and as my dad was leaving I asked him, “Dad, why are you doing this?” And he said, “I have to choose between my happiness and my kids, and I’m choosing my happiness.”

And the biggest thing that the grant did for me during that time was there was a school counselor who invited me to apply for the grant, and ultimately became my formal mentor, and she saw worthwhile pursuits in me that I did not see in myself.

Later on—fast forward to life—I now have a financial advising practice in the Twin Cities, and I also started a nonprofit for women that have gone through domestic violence and helping them get back on their feet financially. And as we uncover needs throughout the planning process for them, whether it’s debts that they can’t pay off, or scholarships to attend school, those are things that were are able to extend through the funds generated from my personal practice.

The biggest thing that the grant taught me was that as women, we have the opportunity to mentor other women and girls that are going through tough things, and we always have the opportunity to turn our adversities into hope for them. And I’m so grateful that the Ann Bancroft Foundation extended the grant to me and put someone in my life at that time when I needed it most.


The deadline for our second 2019 video contest ($100 prize) and our first-ever photo contest ($50 prize) is the end of the day next Saturday, August 31. If you have received an ABF grant, either recently or years ago, we would love to hear your story! Your words can inspire other Minnesota girls to apply for a grant.

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