Canada's smartgirls crowned: Three women chosen as nationwide challenge winners

TORONTO, June 28, 2011 /CNW/ - After a nationwide search, three inspiring Canadians have been named the winners of the smartgirls challenge, a contest developed by glacéau smartwater and Plan Canada's Because I am a Girl  initiative in partnership with two-time Olympic champion Jennifer Heil.  The contest was launched in an effort to raise awareness of the Because I am a Girl initiative, a global movement for social change that invests in girls to help eliminate global poverty and claim a brighter, safer future for girls.

From February through April 2011, Canadians 16 years old and up were invited to submit an essay explaining how they've made a difference in the lives of girls and women either domestically or abroad.  After receiving hundreds of submissions, an esteemed judging panel that included Jennifer Heil and Melissa Grelo, co-host of Toronto's CP24 Breakfast selected the three winners from the large group of worthy applicants.

Christy Smith from Victoria, British Columbia, Caroline Smeenk from Oakville, Ontario and Kama Money from Port Alberni, British Columbia will join Jennifer Heil on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Rwanda this August to help celebrate the completion of a new school for girls.

"I am so excited to be a part of this initiative," said smartgirls winner, Christy Smith. "I have worked to make a difference for girls and women in my community and this opportunity will allow me to see how I might be able to extend these efforts to another part of the world."

Jennifer Heil will be accompanying the winners in Rwanda this August.  "Having been part of the judging panel, it was inspiring to see how young Canadians are taking action, both locally and globally to improve the lives of women and girls."

Meet the smartgirls challenge winners:

Christy Smith (Victoria, BC)

Christy is a talented graphic designer who is committed to empowering women to speak out against sexual violence.  A survivor of sexual assault herself, Christy creatively raised awareness and funds for the Victoria Women's Sexual Assault Centre through her own t-shirt designs along with collecting pledges to run a half marathon.  Through these continuing efforts, Christy aims to educate women and young girls about the importance listening to their instincts, of protecting themselves and saying no to unwanted sexual attention.

Caroline Smeenk (Oakville, ON)

Caroline is just 17 years old and has already dedicated years to community service, bettering the lives of girls at her high school and in her community.  As the co-president of her school's "Young Women in Leadership" counsel, Caroline is making a difference through extensive volunteering and is thrilled to have the opportunity, through the smartgirls challenge to see first-hand the change Because I am a Girl has brought to girls in Rwanda.

Kama Money (Port Alberni, BC)

Kama is a passionate and driven high school teacher who is focused on educating and empowering her female students and improving the lives of girls around the world.  From one-on-one education sessions with at-risk teen girls in her Port Alberni, BC community to volunteering with mothers in Kenya, Kama is an inspiring smartgirl.

For more information on the smartgirls challenge or to learn more about the winners as they prepare for their journey to Rwanda please visit: www.smartwatercanada.ca/smartgirl.

About glacéau smartwater

glacéau smartwater is the purest tasting water that provides hydration you can feel. smartwater starts with municipal water that has been vapour-distilled to remove all impurities with minerals added for great taste.  sold at select retailers across canada ($1.99 for 591ml and $2.59 for 1L) smartwater provides a convenient way to get more of the hydration needed throughout the day. for more information, visit www.smartwatercanada.ca.

About Plan Canada

Plan is a global movement for change, mobilizing millions of people around the world to support social justice for children in developing countries. Founded in 1937, Plan is now one of the world's oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan has only one agenda: to improve the lives of children. For more information, visit plancanada.ca. The Because I am a Girl initiative is Plan's global campaign to claim a brighter, safer future for girls. For more information visit becauseiamagirl.ca

SOURCE glacéau smartwater

For further information:

or to arrange an interview with one of the smartgirls challenge winners please contact:

Aly Ruiz / Frances Manlucu
416.969.2763 / 416.969.2715
aruiz@environicspr.com / fmanlucu@environicspr.com

 

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