She’s the First: Rutgers, a college chapter of the national non-profit, kicked off the school year with its first general meeting on Tuesday night in Hardenburgh Hall.
As an extension of She’s the First (STF) — an organization that supports girls in low-income countries who will be the first in their families to graduate high school — members of the Rutgers chapter educate prospective members on the importance of this cause and encourage them to participate in their many fundraising activities throughout the school year.
Ankita Veta, a School of Arts and Sciences senior and the president of STF: Rutgers, explained that the funding specifically finances their high school education, as this is the time for many girls in these countries when familial obligations or societal expectations will cause them to discontinue their education.
Significant obstacles including poverty, dangerous routes to school, higher costs at higher levels of schooling and emphasis on early marriage and traditional roles often keep girls in low-income countries from completing their education, according to the She’s the First official website.
“But the fact that you are here today, that you are at this meeting, that alone is already a step towards taking action,” Veta said.
The STF website points to the many direct, positive impacts that occur when a girl is provided access to education.
An education means each girl earns 20 percent more per year of schooling she finishes, is less likely to marry early and more likely to be in a healthy relationship, has fewer, healthier children and will take the skills learned in the classroom to support her family and her community, according to the website.
To make this a reality for girls all around the world, hundreds of high school and college chapters throughout the U.S.