On Friday, April 26, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas BRACE Advisor Ana Farrand accepted the Broward County School Coordinator of the Year award by the Women of Tomorrow Mentor and Scholarship program at their annual end of the year gala.
The WOT Mentor and Scholarship program aims to inspire girls to overcome their obstacles in order to pursue higher education by providing them with the skills and scholarship opportunities to do so.
According to their website: “16,000 plus girls in nearly 200 schools have been aided by Women of Tomorrow’s program and close to $6.5 million in college scholarships has been awarded. Girls are given the gift of a future full of promise and potential and a role model to guide them there.”
As a coordinator on behalf of the WOT, Farrand seeks out girls who hold great potential but lack the confidence to establish their interests in order to assist their educational, professional, and self growth. Incoming members are preferably freshman for them to receive more mentoring and be eligible for scholarships offered by the organization.
“Whatever it is I’m here for them. I want to help them overcome whatever they have,” Farrand said.
Meetings are held once a month and feature key speakers that range from a variety of professions, such as a yoga teacher, dentist or anchor woman, who then explain the features of their profession and the struggles that they had to overcome to get to where they are today.
“Every month we have a woman that is in a successful position to come and tell the girls how they got there and what their struggles were because the whole program is to empower girls to know that they can do it,” Farrand said. “It is for us to empower them so that they can succeed.”
Farrand was nominated for the award by fellow coordinators Marcy Bezark and Janice Zaltz who have volunteered in collaboration with Farrand to establish the organization within MSD.
“It was so exciting because I love what I do,” Farrand said. “When somebody comes back and says what you do is meaningful, and to be acknowledged for what you are doing to me is a fantastic recognition.”
Currently there are 15 members of the club. Farrand wishes for the member count to double in size and to establish it as an official club to give girls the opportunity to hold officer positions and run alongside her to arrange meetings and discuss any helpful topics.
“I really would like to get the word out more that this organization exists,” Farrand said. “It is a live organization that I would like to grow with more girls that feel like they could be empowered.”