‘She’s the First’ will not be the last effort

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‘She’s the First’ will not be the last effort

Russell Watkins/DFID

Russell Watkins/DFID

Russell Watkins/DFID

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SLU students hope to establish group for girls’ education

It was over Christmas break 2014 that senior Sara Frese’s friend, Maggie Miles, read the book “Half the Sky”, by the journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

Learning about the missed educational opportunities faced by women and girls in developing countries struck a chord with Frese and her friend, who then decided that they could help give these women a voice.

The girls started a soon-to-be chartered club called ‘She’s the First.’ This national organization “provides scholarships to girls in low-income countries, fostering first-generation graduates and cultivating the next generation of global leaders,” according to its mission statement. Through the use of technology, social media, and a passion to help, ‘She’s the First’ fosters community-based growth, equality, and education.

However, forming a club is never easy. The process began with a few founding members creating a constitution while seeking outside expertise.

Faculty advisor Dr. Jennifer Roberts, assistant professor of educational studies, is currently working to advance the club through her continuous research on girl’s education and her own prior experience in club leadership.

Next, the members gave a presentation to the Student Government Association demonstrating how the club fulfills the Jesuit mission. Due to the success of the presentation, the group was given probationary status.

Their final step is to make a chartering presentation to SGA within the coming weeks.

The group’s goal goes beyond providing education to women.

“By accepting the Jesuit mission of living as men and women for others, we break down global boarders. People deserve rights no matter where they live, where they came from, or what gender they are,” said Frese.

Initially serving as vice president, Frese is now the president of the organization. She works alongside four other passionate and hardworking women who serve on the executive board.

Within a close-knit atmosphere, they work together to stay organized while standing out. In order to achieve their objective, the group hopes to get their name out on campus.

“With an initiative as great as funding and advocating for girls to be able to attend school, the organization sells itself, Frese said. “We believe that as long as we can make ourselves known, the following and the dedication to make this an outstanding organization will come.”

As for the future of this forthcoming club, members are hosting an upcoming profit share on campus featuring Sarah’s Cake Stop-Food Truck.  The theme is “Bake a Change,” and the organization hopes to establish this idea on campus.

Additionally, they plan to host an advocacy event showing “He Named Me Malala,” a documentary  film about 18-year-old Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai’s fight for education.

“My favorite Malala quote and line of motivation to make this a chartered organization is this: ‘I speak not for myself but for those without a voice…those who have fought for their rights…their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated,’” said Frese.