2023 - CHICAGO
Cherie Animashaun is committed to creating equitable spaces for children of color through education, policy and literature. Since publishing her first book at 12, Cherie has founded three organizations — Her Rising Initiative, Street 4 Souls, and Innovate — to empower marginalized women and youth across her state. Cherie started a statewide program, Girls Who Lead, offering free workshops in STEM, arts, and law to 200+ girls. As president of her school's Black Student Union and the student representative on her District's Curriculum and Standards Committee, Cherie has played an integral role in initiating the first African History Course and newly enacted hate speech policies in Niles Township Schools.