One 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