Monday was a good day for women doing good in New Jersey:Wells Fargo announced the five grand prize winners of its 2nd annual “Wells Fargo Works Project” contest, in which each winner receives $25,000, a six-month mentorship from a small business professional, and tailored business solutions such as checking, savings or credit products.
Anubha Bhatla — founder of Curiosity Lab Inc. in Secaucus — won by attracting the attention of the judges and the voting public from more than 4,200 video or essay entries from small businesses nationwide.
Curiosity Lab Inc. is a science laboratory that uses a four-step approach focused on science, engineering and math to ignite the curiosity of children ages 2 to 15 via classes and workshops at libraries and community centers.
Bhatla’s goal within the next five years was to have a flagship center in the New York area with satellite offices in the New Jersey region. The $25,000 grant will provide her with the capital to lease space to design a kid-sized laboratory and increase Curiosity Lab Inc.’s visibility via hired marketing and website development expertise.
In addition, Vital Voices Global Partnership and ANN INC. (parent company of Ann Taylor, LOFT and Lou & Grey) announced the 2015 ANNpower Grantees via the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative — and two of them are from New Jersey.
The ANNpower Grantees are young women currently in high school or college who are committed to driving positive social change around the globe. The ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative will not only help fund the grantees’ 48 projects nationwide, but will provide them with leadership training and mentorship from global women leaders during the ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum.
Abby — a junior at The Pingry School in Short Hills — will receive funding and training for her foundation, Teams for Kids Inc., to help create special sports-related programs and activities for children at local homeless shelters.
And Lilia — the print editor-in-chief of her school newspaper at Glen Rock High School — will receive funding and training for the 4th and 5th grade newspaper club she began to teach journalism for the tuition cost of a new suitcase for local foster children.
To date, the ANNpower Initiative has trained 200 ANNpower Fellows, who have positively impacted more than 40,000 people in 15 countries around the world.
And it isn’t even 1 p.m. yet …