Smart Girl Stories
Ann Bancroft

The Groundbreaking Story Of Ann Bancroft

From her early childhood passions to her groundbreaking expeditions, Ann Bancroft is an inspiration to us all. Throughout her life, she has overcome challenges and shattered glass ceilings as a teacher, mentor, and explorer. Let’s take a few moments to recognize the impressive accomplishments of this incredible woman.

Ann Bancroft – Early Years & Education

Ann was born in Minnesota in 1955 and was raised on a farm near Mendota Heights. As a child, she had a passion for exploring and playing outdoors and she often ventured into nearby woods to play with ducks, climb trees, and explore nature. She also enjoyed academics, especially math and science. She attended St. Paul Central High School before enrolling at the University of Minnesota to pursue an education degree in 1977.

Career & Accomplishments

After graduating from college in 1981, Ann taught elementary school until 1985 when she decided to focus full-time on what would become her signature accomplishment, exploring the world’s polar regions. In 1986 she became the first woman ever to successfully ski across Greenland’s ice cap, a feat that made headlines around the world and established her as a pioneer in polar exploration.

In 1992 she joined forces with Norwegian explorer Liv Arnesen on their historic 1,717-mile expedition across Antarctica, the first time two women had completed such a grueling journey together without assistance. Since then, she has gone on to complete many other expeditions around the world and has been recognized for her accomplishments by numerous organizations including National Geographic’s Adventurer of The Year Award in 2002 and medals from both Norway and Sweden for heroic achievement. She is also an inductee into both the Women’s Hall of Fame (1993) and National Women’s Hall of Fame (2004).

In addition to exploring polar regions, Ann is passionate about teaching younger generations about conservationism and environmental stewardship through education initiatives like “Bancroft Arnesen Explore” that promote outdoor learning experiences for children aged 8–14 years old throughout Minnesota communities. She is also heavily involved with various non-profit organizations focused on empowering women globally through sport as well as increasing access to educational opportunities for girls living in poverty-stricken areas worldwide.

Ann’s Legacy

Ann Bancroft is an inspiration no matter your age or gender. She is proof that anything can be achieved if you put your mind to it! Her lifetime accomplishments are truly extraordinary; from becoming one of the first female explorers in history to founding several non-profit initiatives dedicated towards inspiring young women around the globe, Ann continues to make waves everywhere she goes! We are proud supporters of all that Ann stands for! Here’s to celebrating her legacy each day!

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Founder, Smart Girl, Survivor, Champion of womens rights and kids rights


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