When we were little, we always wanted to be first at everything. First to reach the top of the hill, first to learn to ride a bike, and first to finish the test. Competition drives kids to accomplish a lot, but one thing we never thought about? Being the first to graduate school.
But there are many families around the world where no one has been afforded the opportunity to finish their education. To help break the cycle of poverty, Tammy Tibbetts and Christen Brandt founded the non-profit organization She's The First.
Inspired by a quote from Nicholas Kristof's book Half the Sky, She's The First was created on the belief that "the best way to fight poverty and extremism is to educate and empower women and girls." Though there are many boys facing the same issues, She's The First decided to focus on girls because historically and statistically, girls face a greater disadvantage: Out of the 130 million youth who are out of school in the world, 70% are girls.
And empowering girls can change an entire community. According to She's The First, an extra year of primary school increases girls' wages by 10% to 20%. An extra year of secondary school can increase it up to 25%. The increase in funds is then usually funneled back into their family, and used to help any future children, male or female. Girl a girl a book, and she'll change the town. Or so the thinking goes.
Since its inception in November 2009, She's The First has worked to help girls in Asia, Africa and Latin America achieve an education. But they don't just donate money overseas—they also get young girls in America involved in the process. She's The First links youth groups in the U.S. with girls in the developing world. They help young Americans lead creative fundraisers to raise money for students abroad. In the process, they give local girls a sense of empowerment and achievement—and girls halfway around the globe a chance to feel the same way.
Want to get involved? She's The First is a truly unique and inspiring organization, and they're always looking for more volunteers. Learn more about how you can make an impact here.