About 2 years ago, I watched Marie Forleo interview Tammy Tibbetts, the president and co-founder of She’s the First. As a college student on summer break, her message really hit home in a special way. I realized just how privileged I really was, as I was given the opportunity to complete my K-12 education and then attend college. For many girls across the world, education is not a guarantee, and that’s where She’s the First comes in.
Photo: JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash
She’s the First is a nonprofit organization that “supports girls who will be the first in their families to graduate high school and trains students everywhere to be global citizens. ” Issues that can keep a girl out of school could be poverty, dangerous school routes, higher costs of schooling, and a focus on early marriage. With each year of schooling she finishes, a girl is 20% less likely to marry early, and she is more likely to be in a healthy relationship, have fewer, healthier children, and change the world around her for the better. Imagine the amount of global change that would occur if every girl received a safe, quality, education. In 2013, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) reported that 31 million girls of primary school age are out of school. Furthermore, of these 31 million, 17 million are expected to never enter school. Gender was definitely a factor in this, as fewer boys were out of school than girls. In fact, the amount of boys that were out of school was 4 million less than the females. UNESCO also reported that 34 million female students were out of school by the time they reached lower secondary school. They have also found that ⅔ of the 74 million illiterate people in the world are female.
Despite these numbers, organizations such as She’s the First are helping to provide young women with the education that they need in order to thrive and succeed. Beyond their education, they are also taught how to be local leaders. She’s the First provides scholarship, mentorship, health and wellness, boarding(wherever applicable), and global awareness. She’s the First has 923 scholars, 316 crowd fundraisers, and 225 campus chapters. Education has been proven to be essential in order to succeed, and She’s the First makes it their priority to provide that for young girls. As they say, “a girl with an education is unstoppable.”
To learn more about She’s the First, to donate to them, or to start a campus chapter, you can visit their website.
Olivia Pandora Stokes is 21 and entering her senior year as a business administration major, with a marketing concentration. She has a love of words, Netflix, and reading.She takes her coffee strong (Harvard scientists insist it's healthy for you) and her feminism intersectional. In the future Olivia Pandora plans write more and use business to create a positive impact in the world.