Meet Becca Quillard, Kelley Ekert, Maddy Reardon, and Nolan Campbell founders of Fairfield’s She’s the First chapter. Their passion for women and education has set the stage for what will continue to be a successful club! Follow them on Instagram @stf_fairfield, Twitter @stf_fairfield, and like their page on Facebook!
What is premise of She’s The First?
KE: So basically we raise money to provide scholarships for girls in low-income countries to finish high school and become first generation graduates. And beyond fundraising we want to spread awareness about the lack of women’s education in developing countries.
Where do the girls you sponsor live?
BQ: Oh, there’s a whole list of them!
KE: Yes, there are 10 countries.
Why is She’s The First such a big deal?
MR: I said earlier this is the one I want to answer!! Honestly, $400 seems like a big deal but it only takes $400 to sponsor one girl. At a school like this where tuition is high and most students come from financially stable families everyone contributing adds up quickly.
NC: The poorest student here is miles ahead of these girls.
KE: Not just here, but the United States in general.
NC: Exactly, that’s what I mean… its all relative.
MR: And I feel like at the bake sale we just had people would hand us $10 and tell us “just keep it”. We would say: “Do you want to buy a cupcake for girls education?” and people would stop and want to know more; people were really excited to be a part of something like this. $400 that we can so easily raise is mind-blowing that that’s all it takes to help someone else out.
KE: Your money is going to change this girl’s life.
BQ: College for most of us is just assumed, but for these girls to finish high school is such a huge deal.
What made you want to bring this to Fairfield?
KE: My friend from high school is the treasure of the She’s the First chapter at University of Alabama so I saw her posting on Facebook about it and brought the idea to these guys.
BQ: Well actually at my high school –because we are all girls –they brought it to us. And its kind of embarrassing, but we didn’t do anything about it. We just heard about it, had a presentation on it, and then no one started anything. So when Kelley told us about it, it sparked a memory. This is the opportunity to take the chance I had that I didn’t take and actually jump on it this time.
NC: For myself, as soon as she told us about it I immediately said “I’m in, I want to be a part of this if you actually want to do it”. My high school was all about girls education, that was our big thing. In particular –it was Mount Saint Mary of Mercy –we had Sisters that were working in South Sudan, so we learned a lot and did a lot of work for those girls living in South Sudan. There was a part of me that was missing that, working towards that goal. It was a familiar topic, so being able to get back involved is really special.
MR: For me, I feel that I have a good family, I was put into public school, I had a great high school experience –I think I have been very lucky in my life –and it literally breaks my heart that people don’t have that. In my Communication class the other day we were learning about girls that from age four dress like boys so they can go to school and my professor had said “Oh, people think this is weird” but it just blows my mind that girls go to this extreme just to go to school where we have it so easy, its just assumed.
What are your goals for She’s The First?
KE: Well, we already completed one goal that we had in the beginning. We wanted to sponsor at least one girl and we’ve now raised close to $600 at this point. Its $400 to fufill a scholarship, so that was really cool because that was our goal for the end of the year and not all chapters have done that.
MR: Each semester they give you one required fundraiser; this semester is was Bake for Change and next semester is Sweat for STF. So I think personally, I would like to do two other fundraisers beyond that and we could tailor it around something people would go to so we could maximize awareness.
KE: I want She’s the First to become more than a bake sale someone spent three Stag Bucks on. I want it to become an active community of supporters for education and people understanding that education worldwide should be a right not a privilege.
BQ: I don’t know if it is at all possible, but I just think it would be so cool to have some sort of connection with these girls just with Fairfield. Somehow just putting a face to names so it’s not just “oh we’re giving money to girls over there” –its putting faces and stories to this project.
NC: I hope we can break the mold of what your standard fundraising organization is. Not just an organization that meets a few times a semester and maybe has one fundraising event. I want it to be something that people who get involved with this organization are really education, they learn about what they are raising money for and what they are advocating for.
How do you get involved?
BQ: Follow us on all forms of social media right now!! Give us likes, we like back!
MR: Email us so we can put you on the list!
NC: Or if you see us attack us, we would love to give you more information
BQ: Don’t attack me, I’m short!!
KE: It’s really not a huge time commitment; come to our next meeting Thursday November, 5 at 7pm in BCC 200!!