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First Lady Jill Biden Recognizes WIT Co-Founders as “Girls Leading Change" Honorees

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

In livestream event yesterday at The White House in celebration of International Day of the Girl, the First Lady recognizes the WIT co-founders among 15 young women who are leading change across the United States

In honor of International Day of the Girl, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden celebrated Women In Training, Inc. (WIT) co-founders, Breanna and Brooke Bennett, among 15 young women leaders selected by The White House Gender Policy Council, who are leading change and shaping a brighter future in their communities across the United States.

Please click the photo to read Associated Press article about the International Day of the Girl ceremony at The White House.

As an educator for more than 30 years, Dr. Biden has continued to be a champion for young people at home and abroad. Together with the White House Gender Policy Council, Dr. Biden is hosting the first-ever “Girls Leading Change” celebration at The White House to recognize the profound impact Breanna and Brooke and other young women are having on their communities and their efforts to strengthen our country for generations to come. “It is my honor to celebrate this exceptional group of ‘Girls Leading Change’ at The White House,” said First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. “These young women are protecting and preserving the earth, writing and sharing stories that change minds, and turning their pain into purpose. Together, they represent the potential of young people across the country, and it is my hope that others can learn from the power of their innovation, strength, and hope.” In addition, the Biden-Harris administration announced a series of new actions that build on the administration’s investment in young people and expand opportunities for women and girls at home and abroad. Since day one in office, the administration has been committed to ensuring women and girls have the opportunities and resources they need to ensure their safety, education, health and wellbeing.

To view the International Day of the Girl ceremony at The White House, please view the video:

Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell attended The White House ceremony to support Breanna and Brooke.

Breanna Bennett, Congresswoman Terri Sewell and Brooke Bennett at The White House on October 11, 2023, for First Lady Dr. Jill Biden's "Girls Leading Change" ceremony.

A team from Procter & Gamble also attended the First Lady's "Girls Leading Change" event at The White House to support Breanna and Brooke Bennett, who are Always Period Heroes.

The P&G team at First Lady Dr. Jill Biden's "Girls Leading Change" event at The White House on International Day of the Girl 2023: Nicole Collier, Tara Hogan, Brooke and Breanna Bennett, Susan Whaley and Christina Lotspike.

Below is a P&G "Leading with Love" video featuring Breanna and Brooke Bennett.

Alabama State Representative Rolanda Hollis, who sponsored Alabama's HB 50 law to help end period poverty, nominated the Bennett twins for the Girls Leading Change honor at The White House. Rep. Hollis now serves as Chairwoman of Women in Training, Inc.

Please click the photo to learn more about HB 50. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the bill into law on April 22, 2022. The law provides $200,000 annually for the Alabama Department of Education to provide grants to offer sanitary pads to 5th through 12th grade menstruators in Title I schools. Women in Training volunteers are advocating for the law to be properly implemented.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and The White House for our work to end period poverty,” Brooke Bennett said. “It’s also really important to me to share this honor with other young ladies who are making a difference in the world. This celebration shows me and my sister, Breanna, that we are part of a community of like-minded people who are making a difference in our own communities.”

Breanna and Brooke Bennett. Photo by Tyler Jackson/Grant Thornton LLP

Breanna Bennett said, “I'm truly honored to receive this national recognition from Dr. Biden and The White House, and I’m really excited to meet all the honorees and see how they're making a change. I’m also really excited about hearing Dr. Biden speak. She is one of my biggest inspirations, and she inspires so many young women like me to be change-makers in the world.”

WSFA-TV News in Alabama carried this story about the Women in Training trip to Washington, D.C.

For more information about today’s event at the White House, click the photo to read the story in Teen Vogue.

Mona Cho, 15, of Redondo Beach, California, works to combat online harassment and abuse.

Julia Garnett, 17, of Hendersonville, Tennessee, advocated in her school district for student representation on book review committees and served on her high school’s committee.

Logan Hennes, 16, of New York, works with students to address antisemitism in their schools.

Anja Herrman, 17, of River Forest, Illinois, is a disability rights activist and advocate for equity and inclusion.

— Leela Marie Hidier, 18, of Yarmouth, Maine, is a climate social justice advocate.

Elisa Martinez, 17, of Las Vegas, encourages civic engagement, particularly among Latinos.

Gabriella Nakai, 17, of Phoenix, is a Navajo and Choctaw leader who works on improving food security and sustainability.

Zahra Rahimi, 17, of Alexandria, Virginia, arrived in the U.S. from Afghanistan four years ago and helps other refugees resettle in her community.

Gitanjali Rao, 17, of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, is a freshman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has won awards for developing a tool to detect lead contamination.

Avery Turner, 17, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, supports military children like herself.

Sandra Ukah, 18, of Lake Mary, Florida, is a first-year student at the University of Florida who was a co-founder and co-president of Seminole High School’s Black Student Union, the first one in the country.

Rania Zuri, 18, of Morgantown, West Virginia, is CEO of The LiTEArary Society, a nonprofit organization she founded when she was 13 to end “book deserts” for disadvantaged preschool children.

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