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Campus Celeb: Shanti Varma-Lenz

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

Shanti Varma-Inez isn’t your average senior.  Since last spring, Shanti has been working with a new non-profit, Beautiful World, and is now bringing the wonderful organization to the UW campus.

Tell us more about yourself, Shanti.

I am an Anthropology, Gender and Women’s Studies, and Classics Major. I am a tutor at UW as I have always loved helping people learn and grow. This year my main focus is truly building a beautiful world family at UW. In the past I have been involved with Amnesty International, Habitat for Humanity, and She’s the First—all great UW orgs!

What is Beautiful World Non-Profit?

Beautiful World “provides beauty services to low income, disadvantaged women seeking change who could not otherwise afford it,” according to their pamphlet.  BW helps women feel beautiful so that they have the extra boost necessary to reach their goals.

Why did you choose to get involved with this organization?

Working for Beautiful World kind of fell in my lap last spring. I got an email about a woman in D.C. looking for an intern for the summer to help her start up this new non-profit and I jumped at it. Melissa Murphy (the founder) and I hit it off right away, and by the end of May 2016 I was living with her in D.C. interning for BW. It was an amazing experience and something I really connected with. I wanted to continue to work with BW mission, so Melissa and I decided that starting a student org version here on campus would be the best way to do that!

What are you responsible for within Beautiful World?

I am responsible for a lot of different aspects of the non-profit. Having just gotten the 501c3 status when I arrived, there was SO MUCH to do! I think that’s what made the experience so great. I go to do office work, the odds and ends—but I was also entrusted with finding speakers and donors and so on… things I think that not all interns get the opportunity to do. I am still so thankful Melissa gave me that opportunity and trusted me. Here on campus I am the president of BW, and my main responsibility is spreading awareness of our mission, ideals, and goals. I also coordinate fundraisers and donation drives to support our home base in D.C. For me this org isn’t going to be just about being a branch of D.C. I want to create a family and space where everyone feels free to come and be themselves. I am very lucky to have a great exec board here on campus as well. They have fully jumped on board and are so great at generating ideas and getting everything done!

What kinds of events have you been planning?

We are planning on having a speaker come (Jeffery Marsh – look him up he’s amazing), Mani-Pedi stress relief during finals, donations and fundraisers, bar fundraisers, ladies night, love yourself night, and so on—The details for these events haven’t been set but check out our Facebook page regularly to find out what we all have going on!  

How can students get involved in this organization?

Students can get involved by coming to our meetings! I know this sounds a bit cliché but as we are a new student org, we really want to create an environment that is a safe haven where everyone’s ideas are used and considered. So whatever the students that come want to do, we are up for looking into! Our base, however, will be doing  fundraising and getting donations to support the programs we run back in D.C.

If you are looking to get involved in a great student organization, look no further than Beautiful World.  

Check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/uwbworldprogram/?fref=ts