by Dennis Dalman
The Ann Bancroft Foundation awarded grants to 140 Minnesota girls to help make their dreams come true, including a long-time dream of one Stearns County resident, 17-year-old Madison Mueller of Kimball.
With the $1,000 grant, Mueller was able to go to Germany to visit her foreign-exchange student friend, who lives in that country.
The Ann Bancroft Foundation, which began in 1997, gives grants to help girls have the support, inspiration and resources to help make their dreams come true. This spring, the amount of those grants was increased from $500 to $1,000.
“Our goal is to break down the financial and societal barriers that hold girls back from accomplishing all that they are capable of,” says Ethelind B. Kaba, the executive director of the ABF. “This increased grant maximum will expand what is possible for girls. With this grant cycle, we can go even further in supporting girls as they unlock their potential for themselves and their communities.”
Madison Mueller said she was thrilled to receive an ABF grant so she can see her good friend again, the German exchange-student girl who stayed with Mueller and her family in the summer of 2022. In Germany for a month this past summer, Mueller was able to reconnect with her friend, tour parts of Germany and soak up German culture, language and new experiences in Europe.
She made the trip to Germany under the auspices of the German American Partnership (foreign exchange) Program.
Mueller, who will be a senior in the Eden Valley Secondary School, also attends St. Cloud State University as a post-secondary student. Besides being a topnotch student, she is an expert volleyball player and runs in track-and-field. Mueller has had a mentor since she was in seventh grade.
The world-famous Ann Bancroft, born in Mendota Heights, Minnesota was the first woman to visit both the North and South Poles. She is an intrepid explorer, author, teacher, adventurer and public speaker. In 1995, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She founded the Ann Bancroft Foundation in 1997. Since then, the ABF has awarded more than $2.3 million to 5,500 Minnesota girls in grades K-12. The organization also connects girls to mentors who provide guidance, encouragement and friendship at critical times in their lives.
The ABF accepts grant applications twice a year, in fall and spring. Applications and more information are available at: https://www.annbancroftfoundation.org/programs/grant-programs.