LAKE FOREST – The Milaan Foundation will host its annual gala at the Gloria Dei Center, located on the campus of Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart. The October 28 event, “Celebration of Girl Leaders,” will highlight the stories of grassroots adolescent girls in India working to transform their communities by completing a two-year fellowship program, The Girl Icon Fellowship Program.
Started in 2015 by co-founders Alyssa Newlon and Dhirendra Pratap Singh, the Milaan Foundation has a mission to inspire, nurture and amplify the voices of girl leaders as empowered agents of change in their communities and the world.
“We’re thrilled that the Milaan Foundation opted to host their gala in our beautiful Gloria Dei Center,” says Woodlands Academy Head of School Meg Steele. “Clearly, their mission of empowering young women in India to be agents of change in their communities very closely aligns with the work we do with our students in and out of the classroom.”
The evening will include a message from keynote speaker Raka Ray, Ph.D., a professor at Berkley College and others working to build a world of empowered girl leaders. Fare will include delicious dishes from India and Indian dance performances by Natya Dance Theater.
“Our heart in the U.S. is very much in the Chicago area,” says Milaan Foundation co-founder Alyssa Newlon. “We were so excited when Loren Ketelsen, our volunteer and intern in Chicago – and a 2013 graduate of Woodlands – introduced us to the beautiful Gloria Dei Center as a possibility for our gala. Finding a venue that was meaningful to our mission, rather than just a beautiful banquet hall, was important to me.”
Tickets to this charity community event cost $75 per person with discounts for couples and youth. All the proceeds will go toward Milaan Foundation’s Girl Icon Program. For tickets go to Milaan Ticket-Tailor or GirlIcon.org/Events.
About Milaan Foundation
Milaan Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization, started in 2015, with the mission to inspire, nurture and amplify the voices of girl leaders as empowered agents of change in their communities and the world.
The foundation’s flagship program the Girl Icon Fellowship Program has received almost 15,000 applications from girls (ages 12 – 18 years) and currently works with 100 Girl Icon Fellows and 2,000 Peer Girl Icons. One in 100 girls in rural India drops out of school before the 12th grade. With one in 100 girls dropping out in rural India before completing 12th grade, the foundation leaderships finds it imperative to work from a grassroots level upwards by activating girl leaders as change agents in their own community.
Through these grassroots leaders, the Girl Icon Fellowship program works over a two-year period with the fellows to transform communities and address barriers to equality in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, India.
The fellowship program begins with a leadership and development training and continues on over the two years as the fellows complete social action projects in their own communities. By activating these inspirational leaders, Milaan Foundation’s efforts work to tackle early child marriage, secondary school drop-out, unpaid labor, and reproductive health and hygiene issues. For more information about the Girl Icon Fellowship, visit girlicon.org.
About Gloria Dei Center
The Gloria Dei Center (GDC) was designed by Dirk Lohan, the grandson of famed architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. It served as the library for Barat College until the school’s closing in 2005. In 2012, the Barat College property was reunited with Woodlands Academy after an anonymous group of donors purchased the property and gifted it back to Woodlands. In addition to the GDC, the expanded campus includes two playing fields, the beautiful cupola, and quiet walking trail totaling 42 acres. The GDC serves as a gathering place and is available for outside rental. For more information about the GDC, visit woodlandsacademy.org/facilityrental
Submitted by Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart