STAMFORD, Conn., April 30, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A packed room of parents and educators this weekend watched in awe as 25 Girls with Impact graduates from Connecticut and New York unveiled their business ventures, ranging from Countless Cares for Cambodia inspired by the death of relatives to Cleo, an app to find and secure makeup experts on-demand.

The gathering brings to 65 the total who’ve completed Girls With Impact, the nation’s only digital entrepreneurship program just for girls, delivered live from the home or road.

The organization celebrated its success by kicking-off application season for its Summer Intensive, a six-week program to “turn Summer into career and college prep success,”

Joined by her Cambodian father and a survivor of the mass genocide carried out by the Khmer Rouge, 13-year-old Emily Kong of Trumbull, CT described the genesis of her idea, recalling the story her father told her: “My starving brother and sister passed away in my arms. They would have been an amazing aunt and uncle to you, Emily.”

Renata Ponchitesta, 17, of Cos Cob, CT, is working on Hunger Bar, an app to better facilitate food donations and support such local organizations as Neighbor to Neighbor.

Greenwich High sophomore Cathy Senyonjo, 16, is working on Plait Please, a device to facilitate braiding of black hair given the “four to six hours” it takes, while Kellie Taylor, 17, of Stratford, is building Cleo, an Uber-like app to find makeup help in your area.

“I never thought I could do this, but I feel more confidence, powerful,” said Megan Ardiles, 14 of New Rochelle High, who participated with her sister Grecia, 16. “We would check in with each other and give each other feedback.”

The “mini-MBA” guides teens from idea to a business plan and prepares them to launch a real business, nonprofit or community project while giving them a leg-up in college prep and career.

Educator Sheryl Hewitt of Stratford High said about the extra-curricular academic program: “This is beyond ‘wow!’  Girls can use this as their capstone project.”

Editor’s Note: Additional photos available. View more here or email.

Jo Panzera
(917) 355-1317

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at