‘She’s The First’ Chapter Opens At Penn State
Education for girls in low-income countries is often hard to come by. She’s the First is a non-profit organization that provides scholarships to girls in those countries. With chapters at more than 100 universities and high schools, it makes sense for Penn State to have its own.
Paige Loyer, She’s the First chapter president, wanted to bring her enthusiasm for philanthropy to campus, getting involved with something she felt passionate about. After learning about She’s the First, Loyer knew it was exactly what she was looking for.
“When I came across the She’s the First webpage and saw that Penn State didn’t have a campus chapter, I immediately applied. Since I was accepted by the nationals and the university, I’ve been eager to spread the word and raise awareness about such an amazing organization,” she said.
Allison Mielke, She’s the First chapter vice president, says they “immediately took action” when presented with the opportunity to start a chapter on campus. “When Paige came to me with the idea, I loved it… [it is] such a great cause that empowers other girls and women around the world.”
After finishing the application process to and ironing out all the details to kickstart She’s the First Penn State chapter, Loyer’s goal is finally coming to fruition.
A chapter can provide one girl with a scholarship with just $400, but further financial support can cover anything from school books, lunches, tutoring and even room and board. The more money the chapter raises, the more resources are provided to their chosen scholar abroad.
Girls from India, Peru, Ethiopia, and Tanzania benefit from the donations sent to help their education. Many have been able to advance through multiple years of education with the help of the funds, which for most other girls from their areas is not an option.
“My education is something I take very seriously and is extremely important to me,” says Loyer, “I cannot imagine not having the opportunity to even attend elementary school. I think that’s why I am so passionate about She’s the First. I really value its mission and am a huge supporter of girls’ education.”
Penn State is known for its largest student-run philanthropy, THON. But like Mielke explains, “there are also so many other important problems and philanthropies out there. Bringing a new and different charity to Penn State will diversify student involvement.”
Getting people involved in the cause is the best way to help provide the scholars with education, and Lex Bastis, the chapter’s Public Relations chair, hope to do just that. “My goal is for as many Penn State students as possible to learn about us and hopefully get them interested in joining our group,” she said.
With organizations like this on campus, it highlights the privilege that being a Penn State student is. But awareness is the primary place to start making a change in these underprivileged girls lives.
“I believe that this club will bring awareness to the people at Penn State about the hardship many young girls face in third-world countries with trying to receive any type of education.” says the Global Citizenship chair, Nicole Kostakis.
The club is brand new on this campus, holding its first meeting in February, and the executive board has high hopes for the outcome of the group’s prospective scholar.