Take the Lead Participant Raises $25,000 for Women in Ghana
Kimball (right) with the Ghanaian Ambassador Fritz Kwabena
Poku in Washington, DC
At an April
8 fundraiser at the Ghanaian Embassy in Washington, DC,
former Take the Lead participant Emilie Kimball raised more
than $25,000 for the organization Women in Progress to help
women in Ghana build and grow their small businesses and become
was terrific!" said Kimball, a high school junior from Potomac,
Maryland. "It was a great feeling to
see so many people at the event who were enthusiastic about the
and wanting to help. People flew in from as far away as Florida,
Boston, and Minneapolis. Teachers from my grade school came to
support me, as did teachers from my current school, the National
Cathedral School." In all, 300 people attended, and almost
as many sent in donations.
Before coming to Take the Lead, a four-day
leadership conference at Mount Holyoke for high school girls, Kimball
interned with Women
in Progress in Cape Coast, Ghana. She worked with women entrepreneurs
known as the Global Mamas, who make colorful batik clothing and
market and sell the products internationally with the help of Women
was to establish a revolving fund so the women could be advanced
money they need to purchase
materials for their
products. She wrote a letter to the Ghanaian Ambassador, Fritz
Kwabena Poku, and won his support to host a fundraiser at the embassy.
exceeded her original goal of raising $15,000 that she set while
the Lead. "Take the Lead gave me the
broad vision and great confidence to know I really could accomplish
my goal of raising $15,000 for women in Ghana. In the beginning,
$15,000 seemed so unrealistic. But more and more people became
inspired, and the word spread. I was interviewed by a local television
station. A state delegate called me when she read the story in
a local newspaper. In the end, we raised more than $25,000. This
will go a very long way in Ghana."
'06, who was Kimball's mentor during
Take the Lead, said she was inspired by Kimball's determination
to help women in Ghana. "We had to define the goals and
put together the plan for the fundraiser, but it's really
desire to make a difference for Global Mamas that made it all happen."
with ambassador and parents. (Left to right) Kathleen A.
Sheehan '74 , Ghanaian Ambassador Fritz Kwabena Poku,
Emilie Kimball, and Phil Kimball.
the event, which featured entertainment by a Ghanaian drumming
group and food from the local Ghana Café, Ambassador Poku
said, "At a time when children and other young people are
assailed and bombarded by all sorts of attractions and distractions … it
is incredible that a 15-year-old girl, now 16, would be so inspired
to wish to make a difference in the lives of not children, but
adult women she had come to appreciate and love in Ghana. Emilie,
you are my hero this evening, and I wish to commend you."
contributions can be made payable to Women in Progress and
sent to Emilie Kimball, 7900 Horseshoe Lane, Potomac,
the Lead Web Site
the Lead Participant Helps Ghanaian Women (Original Story)