Roland Park Student Duo Wins National Prize With Empowering Coloring Book

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Courtesy Anna Doherty & Hope Sacco/NFTE
Courtesy Anna Doherty & Hope Sacco/NFTE

Two eighth-graders with a progressive idea and artistic eyes took home a national entrepreneurship award earlier this month for creating a coloring book that aims to inspire young girls.

“Girls Coloring for Change,” by Anna Doherty and Hope Sacco, took first place in the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge on Oct. 6. Student entrants had to craft and present a business plan to the competition’s judges. In the end, Doherty and Sacco, both of whom attend Roland Park Elementary/Middle School, beat out 34 other entries.

The book has a highly thoughtful feminist message well-suited for a modern era in which girls are bombarded with unrealistic images of the female body from an early age. It contains fillable renderings of prominent, impressive women, including Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai and Baltimore’s own health commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen.

In their one-minute elevator pitch, a young girl appears with her friend in front of a mirror, both of them examining at a Barbie doll and discussing their shared desire to look like her. A woman, presumably one of their mothers, then hands them the coloring book.

Doherty and Sacco appear next. “Having knowledge of these female role models from a young age will guide the next generation of girls to be leaders,” Doherty says. “Our coloring book teaches girls that no matter what they look like, they have the power to change the world,” Sacco latter adds.

The pair won $25,000 for their inspiring work, along with $5,000 in funding for their book business and $2,500 apiece in scholarships, the Sun reports.

Their message is being shared with young girls right here in Baltimore. Shananigans Toy Store in Roland Park is selling copies of “Girls Coloring For Change.” It’s also available on Amazon.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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