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Dana Demsky: President of She’s the First

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mich chapter.

Name: Dana Demsky

Year: Junior

Major: Art and Design

Hometown: Orlando, Florida

Fun Fact: I can see the Disney World fireworks from my bedroom window!

 

Her Campus: Tell us a little bit about She’s the First— what it does, what it stands for, etc.

Dana Demsky: She’s the First is a national organization, and we’re just one chapter of a hundred plus chapters. The mission of She’s the First is to provide education to girls in lower-income countries that otherwise wouldn’t be able to get through school for financial reasons. When girls enter the system— they have to apply to be a sponsored scholar. Then, each chapter is given anywhere from two to five girls that we individually sponsor.

 

HC: How many girls does the Michigan chapter sponsor?

DD: We have three right now.

 

HC: Where are they from?

DD: We have one from Guatemala, one from the Gambia, and one from Uganda.

 

HC: Interesting! What made you want to join the club?

DD: When I came in as a freshman, it was actually the second year She’s the First was on campus, so it was really fresh and really new. I just happened to find it at Festifall— very serendipitous! I got really involved, and now, in my role as vice-president last year and president this year, we’ve really grown the club. I think it has more of a name on campus now, and we have so many more members and so many more people that know about us, so it’s been an amazing transition.

 

HC: How would you describe your role as president?

DD: I’ve definitely tried to make it more of a family. I’ve tried to have more social events and closer meetings that are less formal. That’s been big thing for me this year, so I’ve had some social events at my apartment to give it more of a relaxed feel.

 

HC: What are your hopes for the club in the next year or two?

DD: For next semester, we really want to focus more on fundraising, and we’re starting to get more into women’s awareness and women’s issues. Part of She’s the First is a program called GAP, which is the Global Awareness Program, where each month we talk about a different issues that might be obstacles for girls. Last month we talked a lot about hygiene and how that relates. We are trying to incorporate more aspects so it’s not just “give us money for these girls.”

 

HC: What is your favorite part of the club?

DD: I love talking to all these passionate girls, and it’s really cool to see girls that are really passionate about the same things that I am. As far as events, my favorite is actually next semester, and I’m really pumped! It’s our gala event, which is a big party where we raise a lot of money for the girls, and it’s really fun!

 

HC: What advice would you give to your freshman year self?

DD: Definitely try everything, and don’t be afraid to get involved with something even if you have no experience in the club’s topic. Being an officer now, I know that the people in these clubs are really passionate, and they want you to be there even if they may not know you yet. You may feel like no one knows you in a club, but put yourself out there and make an effort. Everyone wants you to be there.

 

HC: That’s some great advice! Do you have any last thoughts?

DD: Thank you for interviewing me, and we will be at Winterfest, so you can join second semester too!