Meet Emily Tomchak: President of She’s the First—an Organization Championing Women’s Education

Currently, there are 130 million girls that are not in school. This is because girls face many obstacles when trying to attend school, including poverty, sexism (girls are supposed to be attending to chores or getting married), and the inaccessibility of the schools themselves. She’s The First seeks to remedy these problems by applying a community-based approach to educating and empowering young women. 

When girls are educated, they are able to earn more money—up to 20% more with each year of schooling—and they are less likely to marry early and they have fewer children. She’s The First works with twelve local organizations in eleven countries and has 200 different campus chapters. 

Source: She's The First

I wanted to learn more about the impact She’s The First has, so I sat down with the President of Boston University’s chapter. Emily Tomchak, a junior and a biology major, is the President of STF at BU and is a strong advocate for women’s rights and education. 

Why did you join She’s The First?

I liked the message behind the club because women’s rights have always been important to me. I also wanted to meet people, since I was a transfer student, so I thought STF would be a good idea. 

What is the purpose of STF at BU?

We fundraise for girls’ education, and the money that we raise supports scholarships that go to women are the first in their family or community to go to school. 

What would you say is the mission statement of STF?

If I came up with one, I would say that no girl should go without an education. To me, education is the most important thing and every person should receive one. 

What are your events and fundraisers like, do you have any coming up?

We have our Bake-a-Change fundraiser where we all bake tie-dye cupcakes and we also hosted Cheese-The-First which was a Blaze Pizza Fundraiser. Our Read-a-Thon is going to be held over winter break where people can pledge to donate after a certain number of pages are read or they can donate for someone else. 

What have you learned as being President and while fighting for girls’ education?

Before this club, I usually was always in the background of things. Now as President, it’s nice to be part of something and it gives me a sense of responsibility. This club makes me want to put in the effort and not be in the background.

As you are a biology major, how do you think being part of this club will impact your career and your future?

Everything is so intrinsically linked, especially empowerment and education. In the healthcare field, there is such a stigma around women and women’s rights. I think I’m just doing my part by being in this club. 

Do you have a favorite part or memory of being in STF?

When I first joined STF I didn’t know anyone, but I went to a Bake-A-Change fundraiser and I had a really fun time. After going, I knew that if I’m going to stick with anything, I’m going to stick with this. 

Source: Emily Tomchak

Since She’s The First started in 2009, the organization has given 7,200 girls an education, mentoring, and all the tools they need to thrive. If you want to support a girl’s right to education, you can donate or check out a fundraiser held by STF at BU. 

Source: Boston University She's The First Facebook

Remember, when you educate a girl, you educate the world. 

 

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