Contact: Katjana Ballantyne
KATJANA BALLANTYNE JOINS GIRLS’ LEAP SELF-DEFENSE AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
WILL CONTINUE CRITICAL WORK OF FOUNDER DEBORAH WEAVER
BOSTON, MA – Girls’ LEAP (Lifetime Empowerment & Awareness Program) Self-Defense announced today that Katjana Ballantyne has succeeded Founder Deborah Weaver as Executive Director. Weaver is retiring after 15 years but will remain actively engaged as a supporter of the organization, which provides a transformative curriculum that teaches at-risk girls how to be both non-victim and non-violent.
“We are grateful to Deborah for all that she has done for at-risk girls over the last 15 years,” said Cynthia Maltbie, Chair of the Board of Directors, “and we are fortunate and excited to have Katjana on board as a leader who will honor Deborah’s legacy and continue her life-changing work.”
Weaver is similarly enthusiastic about her successor, noting that “Katjana is fully committed to the empowerment of girls and young women, brings a wealth of experience to the position, and possesses the know-how to lead the organization to the next level. I am thrilled to welcome her to Girls’ LEAP, and I know that the organization will serve many more girls under her leadership.”
Ballantyne has 25 years of professional experience in non-profit, start-up, and corporate organizations and is known for her inclusive leadership style as well as her strong strategic, operational, and financial management skills. She holds a B.A. from St. Michael’s College and an M.B.A. from Suffolk University.
Ballantyne has actively volunteered in her community for over twenty years, serving on the Board of Directors of Somerville Community Corporation for the past ten years and as a mentor and tutor in the Cambridge and Somerville public school systems since 1992. She is also the mother of two daughters, ages 15 and 4.
“I am honored to have been given this opportunity to work with the Girls’ LEAP team,” remarked Ballantyne, “because I know that when we help girls and young women to value themselves, they will in turn improve the quality of our communities for everyone.”
About Girls’ LEAP Self-Defense
Founded in 1997, Girls’ LEAP (Lifetime Empowerment and Awareness Program) provides self-defense and self-empowerment programs for at-risk girls living in communities throughout the Greater Boston area. The 20-hour curriculum is offered at no charge to participants and helps girls between the ages of 8 and 18 to develop the skills to deal with bullying, sexual harassment and assault. Girls’ LEAP’s mission is to empower girls and young women to value and champion their own safety and well-being because Girls’ LEAP believes that Every Girl is Worth It. For more information, visit www.girlsleap.org or call 617-514-4285.