Profile: Temple’s Chapter of ‘She’s The First’ with Andrea Sarmiento

One of the most important opportunities many of us have in our lives right now is the ability to receive a quality education. Despite dealing with the stress of long papers or assignments from time to time, our education is something that is truly important and can be used to change the world. While it is something that can certainly be taken for granted, there are many people around the world who unfortunately cannot finish their education due to different reasons depending on where they live. She’s The First is a not-for profit organization that is raising money and awareness to help girls worldwide obtain the quality education they deserve.

Andrea Sarmiento, a sophomore global studies major, is the communications director of Temple’s chapter of She’s The First. She first got involved with the chapter last spring and has been committed to spreading the message of the organization to students all over campus and elsewhere.

She’s The First is a national organization that supports girls in low-income countries who are the first in their families to graduate high school. There are campus chapters located all over the country, and they all have the opportunity to sponsor scholars in the program to help them specifically graduate school with the money they make through fundraising.

“With Temple’s chapter, we have five girls that we sponsor, and our girls are from Guatemala and Peru. Over the summer three of us were actually able to meet one of the girls we sponsor so that was really cool to meet her and hear about how she’s doing,” Sarmiento said.

It is no question that fundraising plays a very important role in the chapter. Throughout the semester, She’s The First has held a few fundraisers that were all very successful. One of the most popular fundraisers they held was “Cheese The First” back in September.

“We usually set up across the street from IBC, and we make quesadillas on a Friday night when people are coming in and out from parties. It’s usually a really great fundraiser,”  she said.

Another fundraiser that chapter has done is called “Bake A Change,” which involves making tie-dye cupcakes. It was the first time they did that particular fundraiser this year in October, and it also resulted in a great outcome.

Aside from fundraising, the chapter emphasizes on the importance of discussion through their general meetings. Their general body meetings are held every week on Thursdays, and they are open to all Temple students regardless of their major. A typical meeting with the chapter involves discussing upcoming events and plans and then they will go into a discussion of an awareness topic of the month that stems from She’s The First National Program.

“This month’s topic was political oppressions. We would talk about different aspects of that topic throughout the month. In September, the topic was violence against women. The meetings are very discussion-based, which is cool because you can hear other people’s opinions,” Sarmiento explained.

The hard work that the members of the chapter put into the organization do not go unnoticed. Sarmiento, as well as four other members of the chapter, were invited to attend the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in November in New York City. The event is hosted by Glamour Magazine, one of the partners of She’s The First.

Some of this year’s celebrity attendees included Gigi Hadid, Nicole Kidman, Congresswomen Maxine Waters, and many more inspiring women. Each year, the editor-in-chief of Glamour Magazine will invite 400 young women to attend the event, and this included Sarmiento and her fellow She’s The First Temple colleagues this year.

“It was really cool because the women who won their awards would often direct their messages to the girls at the top which is where we all were sitting,” she said.

Another event Sarmiento had the privilege to attend last summer with members of the organization was the She’s The First summit, which is held at NYU each year.

“They had a lot of really great guest speakers, and you just got to meet other students from other schools to talk about what everyone is doing in their chapters,” she said.

Although the events that Sarmiento and other members of the chapter got to attend were a lot of fun, they all promoted such a powerful message that She’s The First is continuing to portray to others everyday. That is the importance of education.

“The people who are apart of these campus chapters are in college, pay money, and have the opportunity to get an education so it is important to sponsor people who don’t have that opportunity,” she said.

All of these experiences with the chapter has allowed Sarmiento to grow and develop her skills as a person and a leader.

“Through She’s The First I became really passionate about fighting for women’s education and education in general. I think I also became a lot better at public speaking and developed more leadership skills,” she said.

In the future, Sarmiento hopes to work for a non-profit that she’s passionate about or potentially a sector in the UN. With the skills that she has gained from putting hard work towards She’s The First, it is obvious she will be well prepared for whatever the future holds for her.

If you are interested in joining She’s The First, you can contact them through their Owl Connect page where their contact information is located. This is an organization you’ll definitely want to be a part of!