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.


Our Winter 2019 Video Contest Winner: Colibri, D2D ’18

Colibri, a student at Visitation School in Mendota Heights, was awarded a Dare To Dream grant in the fall of 2018 to participate in her school’s all-girls FIRST Robotics team, The Robettes. In early 2019, ABF launched our first video competition to hear from alumnae about how they were impacted by their grant experience. Colibri’s inspiring video was the winner of our contest. She talked about what she’s learned on The Robettes, the effects of machismo culture, and being a girl in STEM.

Here is a transcript of Colibri’s video:

Hi, I’m Colibri and I’m a sophomore from Visitation, and a member of FIRST Robotics—The Robettes. This year ABF has helped me participate in Robotics.

Q: What advice would you give to other Minnesota girls who want to pursue their dreams?

A: Don’t think your dream is impossible. If you want to be an engineer, a scientist, a designer, don’t let others tell you that you cannot achieve your dream. Don’t be afraid to be unique because you were born to stand out. Always keep your head high, smile, and believe. Even though you might not have that confidence yet, you should stand firm because you can achieve every possibility. And once your confidence catches up to you, nothing will hold you back.

Q: Could you tell us how receiving the ABF grant has impacted your life, Colibri?

A: I learned that I am capable of many things. I can help make a robot, I can present in front of judges, other teams. I am no longer afraid to try something new. The grant has impacted me, giving me confidence that I can reach any possibility, like the possibility to make something more out of my life. To know that I can be anything I want to be, as long as I try. I know that I can do anything if I truly believe in myself to get there despite the challenges and difficulties that come along the way. Challenges because I am Hispanic, I come from a Latino culture, and the main environment is male-dominant. Even at home, sometimes the women in the family are faced with what we call machismo, or, in other words, “masculine pride.” And this sometimes makes it very hard to feel empowered. I do have the support of my father, but I don’t think he had ever imagined that I could possibly become an engineer. Being part of The Robettes has taught me to empower not just other women, but also myself, being able to represent women in STEM.

We are currently accepting submissions for our second video contest of the year ($100 prize), as well as a photo contest ($50 prize), and would love to hear from you if you are an ABF alumna! If you are participating in your grant activity this summer, we encourage you to take photos and videos and share your story with us.