Jessica Liu: She's the First UConn

Meet Jessica Liu, this week’s Campus Celebrity and the President of She’s the First UConn.

Liu is an elementary education major at UConn, so it is no surprise she is involved with She’s the First, an organization that works to send girls from low income countries to school, so that they can be the first of their family to graduate from secondary school.

“Education is so important, she said. “Especially giving that opportunity to girls to get an education- that’s how you get out of poverty, that’s how you can fix a lot of issues. For me personally it’s really important to send that message that girls can do anything and girls have the right to have an education.”

The UConn chapter of She’s the First started three years ago, and it is one of over 170 nationwide.  Each year, the group members choose a country from which one girl will be selected.  In the past they chose Guatemala and Nepal, and this year they settled on Peru. 

Peru seemed the ideal program to them because the partner organization, Sacred Valley Project, provides not only academic education to the girls, but also leadership programs that teach them skills they can bring back to their communities.

Once they raise the predetermined amount (this year’s goal is $1,100), they find out information about the exact girl who will benefit from their fundraising.  They get a picture and are able to stay in touch with her.

“It’s the most exciting thing, we always have a big reveal,” said Liu.

To raise the money, She’s the First holds several events throughout the year including music and dancing shows featuring on-campus groups.  Earlier in the semester, they joined other chapters in holding a tie-dye cupcake sale, and next week they are having a “Paint and Sip” with apple cider, tea and other beverages and the chance to paint a beautiful picture of Horsebarn Hill.  (This event is currently full, but those interested may add themselves to the wait list.)

Aside from raising money, She’s the First also works to educate group members and other students on campus about girls’ education through their own meetings and social media campaigns. 

Getting involved with She’s the First is easy- Liu says the group is welcoming and always looking for new members with creative ideas.

“We can always use new members!” said Liu.

Their meetings are every Sunday 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Student Union 410.  Keep a lookout for other events from She’s the First coming up this semester!


Photos courtesy of Jessica Liu.