collaboration among young girlsThe 18-year-old new pop sensation and Disney+ star, Olivia Rodrigo, made a name for herself in the pop music industry. Her song “drivers license” debuted at number one for nine straight weeks. Rodrigo is the first Asian American woman to reach #1 on Apple Music. With more than 13.4 million followers on Instagram, Rodrigo used her platform to advertise her personally designed T-shirt, “Spicy Pisces,” in March 2021. Rodrigo has donated all of the proceeds to a program called Plus1, which in turn, benefits another program called She’s the First (STF). STF supports grassroots organizations that encourage collaboration among young girls and supports girls’ rights.

Plus1, Olivia Rodrigo and She’s the First Collaborate

Plus1 collects money through live concert ticket sales and initiates partnerships with another organization of an artist’s choice. It donates a fraction of money collected from each purchased ticket to the partner organization. Then, the two organizations create a campaign for social media.

The artist’s music tour spotlights the impact of the partnership. Plus1 executes the social media campaign, coordinates volunteers and reports the partnership’s impact on communities. Through this process, fans can continue to contribute to the artist’s selected cause. Plus1 continued to support its partners despite the challenges of the pandemic. After creating the T-shirt, Rodrigo donated all of the proceeds to Plus1 and supported STF despite the restrictions on live events.

Rodrigo’s Donations Actionized at She’s the First (STF)

STF operates on the basis that too many girls are discounted from holding leadership positions, denied the right to an education and forced into marriage. Its goal is to strengthen collaboration among young girls and support girls’ rights. The STF coalition offers funding and training to grassroots organizations that work to educate young girls living in poverty in Africa, Latin America and South Asia.

Additionally, the STF annual conference, otherwise known as Girl’s First Summit, assists adults in gaining knowledge about child protection, designing programs centered around girls and being successful in “feminist mentorship.” Moreover, the girl-led incubator program trains and sponsors young female leaders who have created projects that aim to serve young girls. The girls learn about how to develop an organization and strengthen their leadership from a feminist standpoint.

STF has also launched social media challenges #GirlsGetLoud and She’s a Girl First, which helped to overturn a law that prohibited pregnant girls from going to school in Sierra Leone. The organization reaches approximately 138,000 girls in 26 different countries yearly through campus communities, toolkits, training and partner programs. In the past decade, STF has reached roughly 167,000 girls, more than 100 organizations and 240 practitioners.

Women’s Empowerment

Rodrigo created a personal T-shirt design and used her newly acquired fame to support young girls’ education through Plus1. Many of these girls live in poverty in Africa, Latin America and South Asia. The organization assists music artists in donating financially to an organization of their choice. Rodrigo chose STF, which works toward strengthening collaboration among young girls and lends support to their right to an education. STF supports grassroots organizations that work to educate young girls in more than 11 different countries. STF also assists adults who work with girls daily in designing programs that benefit girls. In addition, STF sponsors young leaders who create projects that aim to serve young girls in communities.

Overall, the efforts of Rodrigo and committed organizations help empower young women, giving them a chance at a life outside of poverty.

– Lauren Spiers
Photo: Flickr

She’s the First Across the globe, women face harsh inequalities in education and the promotion of other crucial rights. Women make up more than two-thirds of the world’s illiterate population, receive lower wages, experience gender-based violence and are forced to adhere to strict societal gender norms that prevent their progression. This is especially the case in developing countries. She’s the First is an organization where the progression of women is a central focus.

She’s the First

She’s the First, a nonprofit organization, recognizes the benefits of prioritizing women and gender equality. When females are educated and empowered, they can earn up to 20% more as an adult for each additional year of schooling completed. They are also then more likely to be in healthy relationships, have fewer but healthier children, are less likely to marry early and are more likely to make an impact in the world. These reasons are why She’s the First puts girls first by promoting women’s equality and education.

Putting Girls First

She’s the First promotes girls’ education and equality. It provides funding to different community-based organizations that can implement culturally efficient ways for girls to attend school as well as afterschool programs where they can further their education while simultaneously learning about life skills and reproductive health. She’s the First also runs training and conferences around the globe. These conferences amplify girls’ voices around the world, inspiring them to become leaders in their own communities. As of the end of 2019, She’s the First reached 11,000 girls, had a presence in 21 countries and provided training for 52 community-based organizations.

Girls’ Bill Of Rights

She’s the First is a co-organizer of the Girls’ Bill of Rights, a declaration of the rights all girls are entitled to, written by girls, for girls. More than 1,000 girls from 34 countries contributed to the list, created on the 2019 International Day of Girl and presented to the United Nations. The Girls’ Bill of Rights advocates for the promotion of girls’ rights like quality education, equality, leadership, sexual education and reproductive rights, protection from harmful cultural practices, free decision-making and more. To support the Girls’ Bill of Rights, supporters can use the hashtag “#GirlsBillOfRights”, co-sign the bill or make a public pledge of support.

Women’s Empowerment and Poverty Reduction

She’s the First is an organization that works toward complete equality for women worldwide, especially in regards to education. Currently, women face a significant disadvantage, especially those who are uneducated. If women are given education and equality, they can lift themselves out of poverty since education is directly related to lowering poverty levels. She’s the First spreads this idea by creating culturally efficient ways for girls to go to school and further their education in developing countries. The organization also advocates for women’s rights through the Girls’ Bill of Rights. She’s the First plays a crucial part in empowering women and helping them to lift themselves out of poverty.

– Seona Maskara
Photo: Flickr

She's the FirstOne of the side effects of poverty is an inability to start or finish one’s education. But one nonprofit is aiming to fight that effect by educating young women. She’s the First is a global nonprofit that “supports girls who will be the first in their families to graduate high school and trains students everywhere to be global citizens.” Their aim is to keep girls in school until they graduate so they can experience and learn more in school. In addition to poverty preventing young girls from finishing school, early marriage, long routes to school and expensive costs for higher schooling also affect girls’ education.

Two women wanted to combat all of that by helping young women get the education they need to succeed. She’s the First was started in November 2009 with a Youtube video and Facebook page by founders Tammy Tibbetts and Christen Brandt. Both had received scholarships for their schooling and wanted to do the same for other girls. It has been shown that education, specifically girls’ education, can help stop poverty.

It works with other international organizations to identify young women to sponsor. 11 countries are the current focus of the organization, including countries in West Africa, Eastern Africa, Latin America and East Asia.

Over 900 girls are She’s the First Scholars, meaning they have received a scholarship to allow them to pursue their education. The young women are provided with mentors in order to help them become successful leaders. These campus groups also aim to promote leadership and global citizenship within the campus community.

What are the benefits of improving education for young women? She’s the First says that a girl is likely to make “20 percent more per year of schooling she finishes”, is less likely to marry young and more likely to have fewer, but healthier, children.

Want to get involved? There are different levels of donor programs. You can become an Academic Ally, Equality Advocate, or a Girl Champion. There have also been more than 300 fundraisers to help raise money for the cause.

Since 2009, this organization has been able to help many young women finish school and give them the resources they need to do so. It has mobilized others across the country, specifically in communities and at universities. This organization’s message of investing in education to better the futures of these young women and girls is an amazing cause to help fight global poverty.

Emilia Beuger

Photo: Pixabay

 Female Leaders She's the First
She’s the First is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing scholarships for girls in developing countries.

The organization allows donors to directly sponsor the education of girls in low-income areas around the world. Research shows that girls at the secondary school level are particularly vulnerable, but thankfully She’s the First focuses on these girls and partners with local organizations to find potential secondary school level scholars based on academic merit, personal hardship and potential to contribute to the community following graduation.

The founders of the organization — Tammy Tibbetts and Christen Brandt — were inspired by their personal experiences with education and the power of a woman’s support network.

The education offered by She’s the First leverages these support networks to stretch beyond basic academics. The organization connects girls with support systems and mentors who teach them how to apply their newfound skills in their everyday lives, hoping that by being provided with such scholarships, the girls will be able to delay marriage and childbirth, avoid domestic violence, secure better wages and ultimately break the cycle of poverty.

Scholarships for girls are part of an overarching goal to achieve gender equality on all fronts. The United Nations recognizes the importance of girls’ education and have listed equitable education for all as one of its Sustainable Development Goals.

Research shows that investing in education for girls is not a futile effort; it increases both women’s earning potential and countries’ economic outputs. According to She’s the First, “only one in every five girls in the developing world finish primary school, and only one out of every three countries (37 percent) has as many girls as boys in secondary schools.”

Already, the United Nation’s previous Millennium Development Goals have made great strides in providing education for girls around the world. According to the 2015 MDG report, in Southern Asia, 74 girls for every 100 boys attended primary school in 1990. That number has now risen to 103 girls for every 100 boys.

She’s the First, meanwhile, has provided scholarships for over 750 scholars in 11 countries. According to their website, She’s the First has one main goal with their scholarships for girls: “We can transform a girl’s life if we help her be the first to reach her high school graduation, changing the trajectory of her entire life.”

Sabrina Santos

Photo: Flickr