Ann Bancroft Foundation inspires big dreams for girls

headshots of two women
Polar explorer Ann Bancroft (left) founded the Ann Bancroft Foundation in 1997. It's given away more than $2 million in microgrants and enabled thousands of girls in Minnesota to pursue their dreams. Ethelind B. Kaba (right) is executive director of the Ann Bancroft Foundation.
Courtesy Ann Bancroft Foundation

Ann Bancroft was the first woman to reach the North Pole on foot with dog sleds in 1986. A few years later she skied across the ice to the South Pole with a group of three other women, inspiring students across the country with updates along the journey. 

But polar expeditions aren’t her only legacy. Bancroft started a foundation 25 years ago that has awarded grants totaling more than $2 million to thousands of Minnesotan girls who have big dreams and need a boost. 

MPR News host Angela Davis talks with Bancroft and the new executive director of the Ann Bancroft Foundation about encouraging and uplifting girls.

Guests: 

  • Ann Bancroft is an adventurer, author and teacher. She was the first woman to reach the North Pole on foot and sled and to complete a number of other expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. She’s the founder of the Ann Bancroft Foundation. 

  • Ethelind B. Kaba is executive director of the Ann Bancroft Foundation. 

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

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