In March, Senator Bob Wiekowski's office sent out a press release announcing this and here is what they had to say:
Sen. Wieckowski names Boldly Me's Founder, Alanna Powell, Woman of the Year for District 10
Non-profit founder assists people suffering trauma from physical differences due to injury, disease, birth defects
SACRAMENTO – After developing Alopecia Universalis, an illness causing total hair loss, when she was 2 years old, Alanna Robin Powell struggled for years with mental and emotional health issues as she got older. But in 2012 she took charge of her life and fully accepted her illness. She began to use her personal experience to help others overcome their suffering. Now she is the founder and president of Boldly Me, a nonprofit organization she started in 2012 that has served over 17,000 children, including more than 150 with suicidal thoughts or plans to hurt themselves in some way.
Today, Powell will be honored by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) as the Woman of the Year for the 10th State Senate District during a ceremony in the state Capitol. She will join 38 other women who are being recognized by their senators as part of the Legislature’s Women’s History Month celebration.
“Alanna’s story is an inspiring example of how a person can overcome physical differences to not only live a regular life, but empower others to reach their full potential too,” Senator Wieckowski said. “With Boldly Me she is engaging children and their families and enabling them to overcome limiting beliefs, disabilities and the fear of rejection. I am very proud to honor her work and raise awareness of her cause.”
Boldly Me partners with hospitals and school systems to design, develop and deliver programs that address community needs. It teaches techniques for coping with problems in positive and assertive ways, such as increasing self-esteem and preventing destructive behaviors such as addiction, eating disorders, substance abuse, cutting, depression and suicide. The programs assist schools to reduce violence and improve student retention.
Students use Boldly Me skills they learn to educate their peers on how to solve immediate problems in their community. Its integrative program quickly identifies people’s behavioral and mental health needs and experts from professional, educational and healthcare fields work to provide sustainable solutions. Boldly Me’s motto is “Become the Hero of Your Own Story.”
Powell lives in Fremont with her husband Jason and has three children.
The 10th Senate District includes southern Alameda County and parts of Santa Clara County.