Winner:Ann Bancroft

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Winning Nomination

Ann is the first woman to cross the ice to both the North and South Poles. Traveling with seven men and 49 male dogs, she reached the North Pole on May 7, 1986, becoming the first known woman to ski across the ice to the North Pole. In 1994 she led the first women's expedition to the South Pole, and in 2001 she became the first woman, with Liv Arnesen, to traverse the continent of Antarctica.

Ann has changed the course of history by breaking down barriers for girls and women, particularly young women, across the globe. Through web-based programs and media, Ann Bancroft reached more than three million schoolchildren across the globe with a journey of hope, courage, and perseverance. Girls who experience Ann's story see their own possibilities and reach for their dreams.
~Sarah Milligan-Toffler, Minneapolis, MN

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