Chapel Hill Student Starts Nonprofit to Help Women


Last March, ANN INC., the parent company of Ann Taylor and Loft, selected 50 rising high school juniors and seniors from across the country to become ANNpower Fellows as part of the first ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum. ANN INC. selected Yuyi Li, a 17-year-old senior at East Chapel Hill High School, as one of the 50 students.

During a leadership-training forum in Washington, D.C., in June, Yuyi and other fellows were mentored by global women leaders and challenged to create a project that would affect change in their community. Fellows also became eligible to apply for grants to fund their projects.

Inspired by Protecting Futures, a program initiated by Always and Tampax that provides young women with sanitary care products, Yuyi formed Free2bFemale, a nonprofit that distributes personal hygiene items to economically disadvantaged women in her community.

“I cannot describe how thankful I am for this opportunity to put my passions into action, especially early on in high school,” she says. “This project for women empowerment has provided me a way to give back to the community.”

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