girl !mpact starts a chain reaction to empower young women around the world to help each other

    TORONTO, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - The new, Canadian-based, non-profit organization
girl !mpact celebrated its official launch at Panorama Lounge last night,
selecting twelve girls from schools in the east district of Scarborough to set
out on a journey to motivate, empower and ultimately effect positive social
change for other young women worldwide. The dozen youths were joined by girl
!mpact founders Leanne Nicolle and Jane Shaw, as well as Olympic Champion
Marnie McBean and Canadian Idol judge and humanitarian Farley Flex.
    girl !mpact strives to empower girls to champion one another's causes,
creating the most direct route to positive social change. The program provides
each participant with mentoring and leadership skills so that they become
equal partners in society, raise awareness and provide a positive influence on
those around them.
    "I'm thrilled at the level of support and encouragement Jane and I have
received for girl !mpact," said Nicolle, "This event really emphasizes our
shared vision for girls across the world to champion each other. The
outpouring of support for these girls from people like Belinda Stronach, g!
mentors like Marnie McBean, and our corporate partners is a testament to the
enthusiasm the community shares to help one another."
    Unlike other non-profit groups with similar aspirations, girl !mpact
aspires to support young women both locally and globally. By empowering local
Toronto girls (the g!'s) with the tools they need, they can champion the
causes of other girls around the world. The first example of this global chain
reaction in 2009 will be the g! Trek. The 12 young girls from five schools in
Scarborough will be trained, coached and mentored for nine months to prepare
for a Mount Kilimanjaro ascent. In turn, prior to the trek these 12 determined
and bright young women will work alongside their executive mentors to
collectively raise $50,000 in an effort to send 10 girls to secondary school
through UNICEF's Kenyan girls' scholarship programme. "There are millions of
girls in sub-Saharan Africa who do not have the opportunity to go to school. I
am delighted that girl !mpact is empowering Canadian girls to champion these
Kenyan young women and bring their individual stories home." says Nigel
Fisher, President and CEO of UNICEF Canada. "girl !mpact is the epitome of the
'think globally, act locally' model".
    "It is an incredible opportunity for me to work with the girl !mpact
program, I'm so excited," said McBean. "I believe I will see many similarities
between this mentoring program and the one in which I work with Olympic
Athletes. In both programs, the girls have incredible strengths of their own
and just need a little help to achieve their potential."
    The strong base of dedicated mentors that will support girl !mpact's
young women are made up of professional and successful executive level women
who possess a great deal of accumulated knowledge and experience to share with
young and ambitious women. Having achieved their own goals and aspirations,
these women know first-hand the power that mentorship and encouragement holds.
    "I am so pleased to have the Scarborough east region schools
participating in girl !mpact, it's a journey that will have a profound impact
on the rest of their lives", said Allan Wolch, Superintendent of Education,
Scarborough East. "By learning to coach and encourage other girls, these young
women will empower the agents of change and advance humanity in a global
    To learn more information about girl !mpact, please visit the website at

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Cathy Mitchell, Sonia Prashar, APEX Public
Relations, (416) 924-4442 ext. 236, 223,,

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