Calmer Choice's Founder, Fiona, Wins 2019 Jaffe Award

Calmer Choice to receive $25,000 grant...
Fiona Jensen, CEO of Calmer Choice (Courtesy photo)

MAHWAH, NJ – ascena Foundation is proud to announce the 2019 winners of the Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards. The program, now proudly in its sixth year, aims to bolster and provide financial support to grassroots organizations who are making a meaningful difference in the lives of women and children, specifically in the areas of health, education, social reform and self-esteem.

This year’s winners include:

  • Amber Scott of Leap Year ($100,000 Grand Prize Grant Recipient)

Based in Atlanta, GA, Leap Year prepares first generation students to succeed in college and become leaders in their communities through a paid community service gap year program. During Leap Year's yearlong full-time program, their "Fellows" spend 20 hours per week focused on college readiness preparation, while the other 20 hours per week Fellows serve as part-time second-grade reading coaches at local elementary schools. Their mission is to prepare young, talented students to reach their academic and leadership potential by attending college and breaking the cycle of poverty.

Cultivating Awareness. Living Mindfully. Enhancing Resilience. That’s Calmer Choice’s mission. They teach young people and community members to effectively and safely manage stress and resolve conflict so that they live happy, healthy and successful lives. As an evidence-based prevention program, the goal of Calmer Choice is to provide skills that will diminish the risk of violence, substance abuse, and other self-destructive behaviors. By collaborating with schools and community programs, they not only provide direct service to thousands of young people each year but also provide support and resources for teachers and for families, many of whom are facing their own socio-economic, substance abuse and mental health challenges.

  • Jamila Larson of Homeless Children’s Playtime Project ($25,000 Grant Recipient)

The Homeless Children's Playtime Project cultivates resilience in children experiencing family homelessness by providing and expanding access to transformative play experiences. They collaborate with transitional housing and emergency shelters across Washington, D.C., where they create safe and fun play spaces inside shelters where children live. More than 120 weekly volunteers dedicate their time, serving as playmates and mentors to children from 6 months to 12 years old.

ascena Foundation, a charitable organization established by ascena retail group inc., is built on making a meaningful difference in the lives of others. The Foundation created the awards program to honor the lifelong contributions of Roslyn S. Jaffe, Co-Founder & Director Emeritus for Life of ascena retail group, inc., a trailblazing female entrepreneur dedicated to giving back to the community.

“Lifting up and honoring women has always been at the heart of everything I’ve done,” said Roslyn S. Jaffe. “Through the [Roslyn S. Jaffe] awards, we’re able to recognize incredible women who are leading organizations that are committed to improving the lives of other women and children, both in their communities and nationwide. I’m thrilled to be able to give back to this year’s winners and support their missions.”

Winners of the Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards also receive access to professional development and networking opportunities to help support them on their changemaking journeys. For additional information about the Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards and this year’s winners, please visit welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on