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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Activities & Organizations

She’s The First UH chapter supports underprivileged girls

She's The First is an organization that helps girls, whose families have never graduated, graduate from high school. | Courtesy of She's The First

She’s The First is an organization that helps girls whose families have never graduated from high school. | Courtesy of She’s The First

University of Houston’s chapter of the She’s The First organization, 2019’s winner of the Outstanding Program Award, supports girls in underprivileged countries to give them a chance at an education through scholarships and fundraising.

The UH’s chapter of STF began in 2013, following the girl’s education movement started by the founding of She’s The First’s nonprofit organization in 2009, which operates in communities around the world to keep girls in school and give them environments conducive to learning. STF now operates in 11 countries in Latin America, south Asia and western and eastern Africa, according to their website.

“We have always been a tiny organization that has tried to make an impact by contributing yearly donations to the national She’s The First organization,” said STF treasurer and mechanical  engineering senior Carolina Delgado.

The name She’s The First alludes to the organization’s purpose: to give girls around the world the opportunity to become the first in their families to graduate from high school and, through further education and mentoring, gain the tools to become community leaders. 

“130 million girls between the age of 6 and 17 are out of school and 15 million girls of primary-school age — half of them in sub-Saharan Africa — will never enter a classroom,” according to UNESCO.

Though UH’s 20-member chapter of STF is small, their work received recognition, winning the Outstanding Program Award from the Center for Student Involvement for an event the chapter coordinated with Intern Queen, an organization that connects students with internships.

In addition to events, STF also hosts fundraisers in order to gather donations for the girls the program assists. 

“Our fundraising so far has encompassed monthly bake sales where we talk to students about our organization,” Delgado said.

The organization has recently started holding socials at Pink’s Pizza as well with all the proceeds going toward donations and making sure they can continue the bake sales, Delgado said. 

In 2018, the UH chapter announced that they were able to fund a scholarship for a student from South Sudan, which they said will allow her to further her education and explore possible career opportunities.

“Through our chapter’s fundraising, we have been able to support a scholarship for our STF scholar, Adhieu, in South Sudan,” a post on STF’s Facebook page said. “Adhieu enjoys several subjects and she can see herself one day becoming a journalist or pilot, as well as a devoted mother.”

Going forward, STF says they plan to encourage both member involvement and development. In addition to their bake sales and pizza socials, the organization holds meetings, movie showings and local volunteering events. 

 “We will be introducing new volunteering and social programs to allow members to become more engaged with STF,” Delgado said. 

The program also plans to enhance their members’ enrichment, helping to prepare them for the future just as they do for the girls they help through their donations.

“We’ll be providing more opportunities for our members in the form of chair positions,” Delgado said. “We want to make sure that we are investing more in our members’ development of leadership and professional skills.”

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