September 6, 2017 – NEW YORK, NY – Women’s Health, the leading women’s wellness and lifestyle media brand, today announced the winner of its second annual “Ultimate Game Changer” reader contest, sponsored by Jockey and Coors Light. Twenty-six-year-old reader Jess Ekstrom, founder and CEO of Headbands of Hope, has been crowned this year’s winner and is featured inside the magazine’s October 2017 issue.
Ekstrom, whose mission-driven brand designs stylish headbands for women and kids, created Headbands of Hope at age 19 after interning at the Make-a-Wish Foundation, an organization for kids with life-threatening illnesses. Leaving the experience empowered and armed with inspiration, she spent her junior year at North Carolina State University developing her business with one goal in mind: for every headband sold, Headbands of Hope would donate a headband to a child with cancer. Today, Ekstrom has donated more than 200,000 headbands across every children’s hospital in America, and in five other countries across the globe.
“To be named Women’s Health’s Ultimate Game Changer is absolutely surreal,” says Ekstrom of the honor. “I hope that my story and the other finalists’ stories can show how change starts with an idea and the courage to act upon it. To be able to share this message on such an incredible platform like Women’s Health is truly an amazing opportunity.”
Women’s Health’s “Ultimate Game Changer” reader contest began in 2016 as an extension of the magazine’s celebrated “Game Changer” editorial feature. The contest invites real women to nominate themselves and their friends for the coveted title of the “Ultimate Game Changer.” Hundreds of entries are narrowed down to five outstanding finalists, which are then voted on by readers at womenshealthmag.com/gamechangers. The contest winner, along with four other top finalists, appears in the October 2017 feature story.
On naming Ekstrom as the second reader “Ultimate Game Changer,” Women’s Health Editor-in-Chief Amy Keller Laird says, “Jess in the kind of reader who embodies Women’s Health’s mission to inspire women to take action. It’s empowering to see a real-life story of a single human being taking something she authentically cares about and not only turning it into a beloved career for herself, but one that has a positive impact on hundreds and thousands of lives. We’re honored to share Jess’s story and celebrate her compassion and drive.”
To find out more information about Jess Ekstrom and this year’s “Ultimate Game Changer” finalists, pick up a copy of the October issue of Women’s Health magazine.
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About Women’s Health: Women’s Health propels 35 million global consumers into action, providing the motivation and the inspiration for them to make instant, positive changes in their lives. Launched in October 2005 and published 10 times a year by Rodale Inc., Women’s Health has quickly grown into a multimedia brand that includes branded books, mobile applications, and renowned events. The magazine has received numerous industry accolades, most recently being named to Adweek’s annual “Hot List” and Advertising Age’s “Magazine of the Year” in 2016, as well as garnering an ASME National Magazine Award nomination in 2017. With 29 editions in 53 countries, the magazine continues to be the fastest growing women’s magazine in the world.
About Headbands of Hope: Headbands of Hope was founded in 2012 by Jess Ekstrom after an inspiring summer internship with a wish-granting organization. For every headband sold, a headband is given to a child with cancer. The brand has been supported by dozens of celebrities including Lea Michele, Lauren Conrad, Whitney Port, Tiffani Thiessen, Molly Sims and more. But more importantly, they’ve donated over 200,000 headbands to kids with cancer and have reached every children’s hospital in the United States.