Ananya Murali is not a typical high school junior in Wisconsin. She planned, organized, and conducted a leadership/anti-bullying camp, "Step-Up Against Bullying and Violence", for more than 100 middle school girls to teach various strategies to reduce aggression and emotional distress and improve their attitudes toward themselves and others. She presented her project at the International Youth Peace Conference, received $2,000 in grants, and created an anti-bullying and leadership curriculum for middle school girls. She invited national speakers, D.A.R.E. police officers, and the Milwaukee Police Department to come and talk about the dangers of bullying and to do hands-on activities with the students. She invited yoga instructors to come do yoga with the girls, taught them peace songs that she wrote, organized team-building activities, group discussions and blog posts, and created peace murals.
She also did research about the status of women and girls in the state of Wisconsin and presented her findings at the U.N.’s 59th Commission on Status of Women and attended the trainings at the U.N. Headquarters in New York for a week in March of 2015. She was invited to the Wisconsin Senate's office to talk about her experiences at the U.N. Headquarters. Her goal is to apply for more grants and conduct her anti-bullying and leadership workshop in every school district in Wisconsin to make our state a better place. Ananya is the Inspire by Example Youth Award winner for this year and a Zonta Internationals Young Women in Public Service Award recipient. She won the Young Women of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of Southeast Wisconsin for helping to solve a local traffic signal problem in her community in 2012.
For her exemplary community service at such a young age, Ananya is presented the Wisconsin Heroes Award.