FORT WORTH, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, girls from 10 Fort Worth area schools came together with nutrition leaders, business experts and special guests to take part in a unique workshop designed to help them think and act like entrepreneurs. As part of the Dannon Institute Girls 4 Tomorrow event, powered by Adventure Capital, these aspiring students pitched their health and wellness ideas to a panel of judges for the opportunity to win funding to implement their projects in their school.
During the five-hour workshop, 49 girls from higher needs schools throughout Fort Worth worked closely with subject-matter experts from the Dannon Institute and local Dannon company employees to create, develop and refine their ideas aimed at improving health and wellness in their schools. The girls then pitched their ideas to a panel of judges in a head-to-head competition to win funding that will help put their ideas into action. At the end of the day, $15,000 in total grants was awarded to 12 winning pitches to help make those ideas a reality.
"The Dannon Institute focuses its efforts on areas of nutrition that the Board of Directors believe need greater attention in the United States including promoting children’s nutrition education and fostering the success of tomorrow’s leaders in the field of nutrition,” said Douglas Heimburger, M.D., M.S., President, Board of Directors of the Dannon Institute. "The Dannon Institute is proud to partner with GENYOUth to leverage our more than 300 Nutrition Leadership Institute Program alumni to mentor these young girls as they take the first step toward becoming empowered leaders helping make an impact on health and wellness in their communities.”
Winning project ideas included:
- “Bullet Bar” designed and pitched by Atlali Delgado from Young Womens Leadership Academy at Arnold – project focused on breakfast in the classroom and increasing the consumption of fruit and nutrient dense products. The project will emphasize consuming products with lower amounts of sugar. The cost of products to be encouraged will be lower than sugar sweetened beverage drinks offered at the school.
- “Gardening for the Future” designed and pitched by Julia McHugh from Kennedale. The project will help create an organic garden at the school. Grant funding will be used to purchase seeds and gardening tools. Excess food from the garden and school lunches will be composted to fertilize the garden or be provided to local BackPack Project. The project will also focus on teaching students where their food comes from and the nutritional value of that food. Students will get physical activity by working in the garden.
- “Student’s Choice” designed and pitched by Destanie Renfro from A+ Academy. The project will focus on providing more options for students during lunch and communicate the value of nutrient dense foods. Grant funding will be used to purchase fridges and ovens to make the food and restructure the cafeteria around the new food options.
The Dannon Institute Girls 4 Tomorrow event, powered by Adventure Capital, is a two-city pilot program, with a second event to be hosted in New York City on March 15th. The Girls 4 Tomorrow event is presented in partnership with leading health and wellness nonprofit, GENYOUth to empower and support girls from high needs schools and give them opportunities to foster change in their local schools and communities through GENYOUth’s AdVenture Capital program. Since its launch, the AdVenture Capital program has supported hundreds of students who received funding to implement their ideas in schools across the country.
“Empowering today’s youth to become tomorrow’s leaders is at the forefront of GENYOUth’s mission and the AdVenture Capital program is helping us create transformational changes in schools across the country by putting youth at the helm,” said Alexis Glick, CEO, GENYOUth. “Through our partnership with the Dannon Institute we are able to encourage and support entrepreneurial skill development and leadership opportunities to help girls create healthy changes in their schools and communities preparing them to be future ready."
The Dannon Institute and GENYOUth will continue to nurture valuable entrepreneurship and leadership skills in future female student leaders by pairing participants who do not receive grant funding with a Dannon Institute and/or a Dannon company mentor throughout the remainder of the school year to support their leadership and workforce development.
For more information about Dannon Institute Girls 4 Tomorrow Social Innovation Series events and other opportunities offered for students through Adventure Capital, visit www.AdCapYOUth.org.
About the Dannon Institute
The Dannon Institute is a 501c3 nonprofit foundation dedicated to non-commercial activities. Established in 1997, the Dannon Institute promotes research, education and communication about the link between nutrition and good health. The Dannon Institute's main objective is to facilitate behavior changes that lead to healthier lifestyles for you and your family. For more information on the Dannon Institute, visit www.dannon-institute.org.
About AdVenture Capital
AdVenture Capital (“AdCap”) is a social entrepreneurship program of GENYOUth, which provides funding, mentoring and experiences to 13+ students with ideas for improving health and wellness in their schools and communities. To learn more, visit the digital platform at www.AdCapYOUth.org.
GENYOUth empowers students to create a healthier future for themselves and their peers by convening a network of private and public partners to raise funds for youth wellness initiatives that bolster healthy, high-achieving students, schools and communities nationwide. We believe that all students are change-agents, who deserve the opportunity to identify and lead innovative solutions that positively impact nutrition, physical activity, and student success. For more information about GENYOUth, visit: www.genyouthfoundation.org.