Meet Tamuyen Do (SAR '19) – Outgoing President of BU’s Chapter of She’s the First

Sitting behind a table in the George Sherman Union link, with colorful tie-dye cupcakes splayed out in front of her, wearing a baby blue crew-neck with “She’s the First” in the corner, is Tamuyen Do, waving to friends and enticing them into buying a baked good for her cause.

Tamuyen, commonly known as Tam, is the outgoing president of Boston University’s chapter of She’s the First, an international organization that empowers women through education. As a senior studying health science in Sargent College, Tam is also incredibly involved in her sorority, Delta Delta Delta, for which she was an officer as well, and her studies through being a TA on campus and doing research on dementia.

Two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults are women, so She’s the First works to combat that problem through funding girls in developing countries to attend school and raising awareness on the issue. Tam had always advocated for women’s rights but didn’t realize the effect education played on gender inequality until she joined She’s the First. Quickly, she became passionate about the cause.

“[In America], especially in the Northeast, you may see education as something that everyone does and that everyone has the right to, but in other parts of the world, it’s not necessarily that easy,” she said. “Sometimes there’s just not enough financial support or family support.”

The BU chapter of She’s the First has been sponsoring a student in Ethiopia for the past couple of years. Tam said she loves being able to sponsor the same girl year-to-year, making a direct impact on her life.

With over 200 campus chapters, She’s the First has equipped nearly 7,200 girls worldwide with schooling and mentorship. The BU chapter raises money for this cause with three central fundraisers: Bake a Change, Cheese the First, and Read-a-Thon.

This past winter break was the first time the chapter ran Read-a-Thon, a BU-specific fundraiser in which members asked their family and friends to sponsor them for each book they read over break. Tam said implementing the event was a long-time dream of hers and that she hopes the chapter will continue with it after she graduates.

Tam originally joined She’s the First during her sophomore year. “I was looking for an organization to get more involved. I didn’t step in with the intention of ever leading it,” she said.

After serving as the treasurer for a year, she knew she wanted to step up and impact more people by running for president. Her officer positions in Tri Delta taught her helpful skills in being a leader of an organization.

“You need to know how to listen to people and lead with confidence,” she said. “My positions in my sorority really helped me learn how to be confident and figure out what people wanted even if they weren’t saying it.”

Being the president of She’s the First also gave her skills she will continue to bring into the classroom while she pursues her master’s degree and later into the workplace.

Tam has learned more about communication, planning ahead, and organizing people through her major role in the club. “Since the president normally leads the meetings, I’ve learned to be more outspoken,” she added. Also, her elevator pitches are now phenomenal because of all of her practice advocating for She’s the First.

Since she’ll be working towards her master’s degree next year at BU’s School of Public Health, Tam plans to still drop by a Bake-a-Change fundraiser every once in a while and continue to spread She’s the First’s influence on campus. You can follow the BU chapter of She’s the First on Instagram and like it on Facebook. You can also learn more about the cause at shesthefirst.org.

 

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