New Chicago Non-Profit, GirlForward, Named Semifinalist for Prestigious Global Fellowship

GirlForward, new non-profit focused on educating and empowering Refugee Girls, represents Chicago when announced as semi-finalist for competitive Echoing Green Fellowship.

Chicago, IL, March 07, 2012 --( GirlForward represents Chicago when announced as semi-finalist for competitive Echoing Green Fellowship.

GirlForward, a new and unique Chicago based non-profit organization, has just been selected as a semi-finalist for the prestigious and competitive Echoing Green Fellowship. Echoing Green received over 3,500 applications from organizations around the world, but selected only 300 semifinalists. This not only places GirlForward among the top 10% of applicants but also as the only Chicago based and locally-focused semi-finalist. GirlForward, whose overall mission is to empower adolescent refugee girls in Chicago, is excited to represent the windy city as it approaches the final rounds of the application process.

Echoing Greens a world-renowned 2 year Fellowship program that has invested $27 million in social entrepreneurs since its inception in 1987. Those selected are awarded a stipend of $80,000 paid in four equal installments over 2 years as well as a health insurance stipend, access to technical support and pro bono partnerships and many other unique opportunities.

Founded in 2011, GirlForward is a brand new, one-of-a-kind non-profit organization that is focused on empowering adolescent refugee girls through individual mentorship and educational opportunities. GirlForward is the only organization solely-focused on this under-served community of girls who come from all over the world including Bhutan, Congo, Sudan, Burundi and Iraq.

“When I listen to them talk about their plans to go to college to become doctors, lawyers, and journalists, I just want to give them the world. Their dreams are not only for themselves - most of all, they want to succeed so that they can help their families and their communities,” Blair Brettschneider, SoC Alumni News, "SoC Alum named as U.S. Representative for UNESCO Youth Forum, 2011."

GirlForward has made the most of its first year by creating unique opportunities for the participants, including museum visits, dance classes, college tours and guidance sessions, as well as many more group and individual activities. These, paired with the individual mentorship program, create a community of support that serves as a resource and empowers girls to be strong, confident, and independent. GirlForward continues to grow and looks forward to reaching more and more girls as the years progress.


For more information on the GirlForward organization, The Echoing Green Fellowship or to schedule an interview with GirlForward executive director, Blair Brettschneider, please contact Sylvie Brew at 612-716-3892 or email at
Sylvie Brew