Thank you to every empowered female leader who attended the Fall Meeting on October 7! Listening to your honesty in sharing your TAC stories, challenges, and triumphs was so inspiring.

This month’s newsletter is all about YOU, YWLC! We wanted to highlight the amazing work you ladies are doing, not only throughout your current 2020 TAC project, but also the work alumni are now doing outside of the YWLC program. It’s no secret that you are putting your leadership and social justice skills to work in all facets of your lives. Each of you has an amazing superpower (or “secret sauce” – remember Dr. Kate Walker’s talk) that deserves to be spotlighted!

Root for your alumni network and support one another in your service work and extracurricular passions!


Ava M.

Founder of: The Main Character Project | YWLC ’20

My TAC is called The Main Character Project, and it seeks to promote representation and cultural literacy by providing kids with books that have diverse and empowering protagonists. Representation means a lot to me because for so long I never saw anyone in the spotlight that I could relate to. So far, the Project has collected over $1,700 worth of books through donations and by purchasing from a local BIPOC owned bookstore. I’ve donated them to the Wesley House Association, a local social service agency that hosts after-school programs for elementary and middle school-aged kids. My next steps include leading online programs where I’ll read the BIPOC-centric books out loud and the students will follow along with their own copies to practice reading comprehension. Following that, I’ll lead cultural competency and empowerment activities, allowing them to practice public speaking, cross-cultural understanding, and civic engagement.

Gretel W.

Co-founder of: CARE | YWLC ’20

My name is Gretel and I am the co-founder of the Club for Animal Rights and Education (CARE), which is a non-profit organization run by students that hosts year-long events to promote animal rights and educate the student body on the voiceless pets we love so much. We partnered with Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation to volunteer for a dog swim fundraiser. The volunteers happily played with dogs and cleaned up after the fluffy friends. It was great to see people unified by their love of animals. For my TAC, I want to expand my non-profit Club for Animal Rights and Education to include a multitude of schools while creating a lasting impact on its members and surrounding community. Bringing CARE to schools will not only spread the love of animals, but it will also educate the public on proper animal care to ensure a safer future for pets. I believe that in our society, people often disregard the voices who can’t always speak up, such as animals. I want to be able to be a voice for them, as they can’t represent themselves even with mistreatment occurring. There are many prevalent issues that Missouri still faces such as the continuation of puppy mills, and I want to work with legislators to combat this. Check out this blog post about the dog swim fundraiser:

Ziana U.

Co-founder of: Beading Hearts | YWLC 18′, Intern 19′ &’20

My name is Ziana Ukani and I am currently a high school senior at The Awty International School in Houston. Recently, my friend Tess Harmon and I co-founded an organization called Beading Hearts. We make and sell gorgeous handmade beaded jewelry on Instagram (@BeadingHearts21) and 100% of the profits go to women’s organizations of the buyer’s choice, including The Pangea Network, The National Women’s Law Center, the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, Girls Not Brides, the Campaign for Girls Education in Africa, and Days for Girls International. We started this because of the pandemic; women both locally and around the world need more support than ever. Domestic violence cases rose, employment rates dropped, and women have even less access to education and other resources than they did before. We’d love for you to check out our page and purchase anything you like! Supporting women, one bead at a time.

Hajar M.

Hijabi Skinfluencer: @honeyjarhajar | Blog: Hajar’s Honey Jar | YWLC ’19, Intern ’20

My name is Hajar and I’m a freshman at Knox College. I am a proud hijabi skinfluencer pushing for more hijabi representation in the skincare industry! Skincare is something that’s loved by all and yet we see such a lack of diversity in the skincare industry. I believe it’s so important to see Black, Latinx, Muslim, and Asian representation in the skincare industry because we, as consumers, deserve to see people like us being showcased! Skincare is something I’m so passionate about and it’s frustrating when I don’t see women like me on certain brands’ pages and websites. I deserve to be represented and so do other WOC! Skincare products should be represented by everyone because it’s something we all have (or should have) in our lives. In my eyes, skincare is self-care and so it’s important to me that I see everyone engaging in this, and that there is proper representation in the skincare industry because skincare is for everyone!

Let us help you promote your work! Tell us about your TAC successes and service work you are doing. We’d love to feature your TAC and social enterprise on our social media & newsletter.

Email to share your news with us!

The Young Women’s Leadership Challenge YWLC is a yearlong U.S.-based program for high school aged-girls created and managed by The Pangea Network, composed of a 6-day summer conference, mentoring, monthly meetings, Fall and Spring workshops and lectures throughout the year.
The Pangea Network is an international non-profit dedicated to empowering motivated individuals in Kenya and the United States with the knowledge, skills and an ongoing network of support in order to achieve their dreams and make positive, life-changing contributions in the communities where they live.