NDSU student Annise Montplaisir was rewarded for her extensive volunteer work with the Young Women of Today and Tomorrow Award at the YWCA Cass Clay Women of the Year banquet on April 21.
“It was a really special moment to share with my family,” said Montplaisir, a freshman from Moorhead, Minn., majoring in management and communication. “There were so many amazing women nominated for the various categories of the awards. To be honored with one of the awards was very exciting.”
Montplaisir initiated a grade-school literacy program called Read with a Teen, and a young women’s empowerment event, “Beautiful to the Core,” while in high school.
She spearheaded Read with a Teen as a junior in an effort to capitalize on the positive mentoring role of teen students in the eyes of young children. In the program, teen volunteers read to grade school students at a local elementary school to help improve the young students’ comprehension skills and reading proficiency.
Read with a Teen continues today under the leadership of other high school students.
Beautiful to the Core was the brainchild of Montplaisir and two friends. Montplaisir said the students wanted to create an event that would empower girls to feel beautiful and confident.
The first Beautiful to the Core event was held last May. The overnight event, which was attended by about 300 students, included door prizes, free T-shirts, free admission and four motivational speakers.
Montplaisir also has extensive volunteer involvement in 4-H, and is currently the director of communication for the North Dakota Horse Park in Fargo.
“My goal for the future is to continue my involvement in empowering women in our community,” she said. “There are so many amazing organizations around Fargo that I would love to be a part of.”
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.