GirlUp Brandeis Co-Founders: Rachel Groth '19 and Sarah Khimjee '19

Rachel Groth

Year: 2019

Hometown: Hauppauge, NY

Major/Minor(s): Undeclared

Why Brandeis? It was very obvious to me that this place was my home. The kindness and curiosity that is so abundant on this campus has helped me grow as a person, and I just feel so proud to be here.

Extracurriculars: Besides acting as the vice-president of GirlUp, I volunteer with Brandeis Buddies, a group that works with adults with developmental disabilities. I am also in Active Minds, a club that works to increase mental health awareness on college campuses. I am also just starting work as a teaching assistant at Lemberg Children's Center.

Sarah Khimjee

Year: 2019

Hometown: Queens, New York

Major(s): Biology and International & Global Studies

Minor(s): Gender Studies and Anthropology

Why did you pick Brandeis? The passion and love the community at Brandeis exudes is like none other, and I couldn't be prouder to call anything but Brandeis my alma mater.

Extracurriculars? Amongst others, I am involved with the South Asian Student Association as their Secretary, the Student Union as the Media Manager, and GirlUp as the President. I also work at the Department of Community Service as the Community Service Partner Liaison.


Tell me more about GirlUp:

RachelGirlUp is a campaign of the UN Foundation that works to help young girls in developing countries in areas such as health care, safety, and education. Our chapter of GirlUp hopes to raise both funds for the organization's projects and awareness of the issues that these young girls face.

Sarah: GirlUp is a campaign of the United Nations Foundation that works to empower young women and girls around the world in the realms of healthcare, education, etc. We work in 5 core countries: Guatemala, Ethiopia, India, Liberia, and Malawi.

What is your role in the group?

Rachel: I am vice-president, and I co-founded the club with the wonderful Sarah Khimjee.

Sarah: I co-founded GirlUp at Brandeis with my fabulous roommate Rachel Groth, and am currently the President of the club.

What issue do you think girls and women should be aware of?

Rachel: In GirlUp, while we sometimes discuss issues that girls face in our country, we try to focus on issues that go on more in developing countries. This includes the limited access to education, limited resources for healthcare and birth control, and the way many young girls are forced into child marriage. These are just a few of the many issues we discuss in GirlUp. So, to answer your question, I think all people should take some time to research the issues that people face all over the world. But I also think it's important to note that it's okay to be uninformed about these things. I'm learning more and more every day.

Sarah: In a country as developed as the United States, we often take the presence of a judicial system that requires us to have birth certificates and often chides wrongdoers for granted. In countries that are not as developed, such as the ones GirlUp works with, women lack the most basic rights, such as the right to a birth certificate, immediately invalidating their entire existence as it is hidden from the world (literally). Coupled with a specific issue like the above mentioned one, are larger issues such as the lack of educational access and healthcare resources for women and girls in a large part of the rural world. On a national scale, issues like slut shaming and deeply rooted sexism are issues our community needs to unite to tackle.

What is the most important message you think girls and women should hear?

Rachel: Never stop fighting for who you are and what you believe in.

Sarah: Haters gon' hate, but that shouldn't stop you from doing you.


Fun Facts:

Favorite Class:

Rachel: It's pretty hard to pick since I'm really enjoying a few, but I've gotta go with Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience (even though it challenges me a lot, it's super interesting)

Sarah: Introduction to the Comparative Studies of Human Society (Anth 1A)

Favorite Movie:

Rachel: A Beautiful Mind

SarahLegally Blonde

Favorite Snack:

Rachel: Nutella


Favorite Spot on Campus:

Rachel: Peace room

Sarah: SSC atrium's balcony. It has the most gorgeous view of Brandeis' breathtaking sunsets


Advice for Underclassmen?

Rachel: Let college be the time to grow and find yourself. Don't be afraid to try new things, and try not to be hard on yourself when things don't go the way you expected. This is the time to make mistakes and learn. Just be.

SarahLive each day like it's your last: do what you love and love what you do!