Baruch’s She’s the First raises money to combat inequality and women’s issues

Courtesy+of+FacebookShe%27s+the+First+club+fundraises+for+and+supports+girls%27+and+womens%27+causes.

Courtesy of FacebookShe’s the First club fundraises for and supports girls’ and womens’ causes.

Angelica Tejada

Baruch College’s chapter of She’s the First not only fundraises for girls’ education in low-income countries, but also helps out local communities.

The club’s agenda involves helping girls around the world and developing a sisterhood here at Baruch.

As an organization, She’s the First ensures that girls are being treated with respect and have the opportunity to receive an education.

“… In too many places around the world, girls are treated as second to the boys. They are denied an education, told who and when to marry and blocked from leadership. Educated and respected girls are the exceptions, not the norm,” it states on their website. Additionally, it says that they “team up with 12 local organizations in 11 countries, all of which ensure that girls stay on track to complete 12 years of education.”

The club started three years ago at Baruch and ever since, all of the fundraising and charity events have gone toward the international She’s the First organization.

“The club helps girls get an education that they otherwise probably would not have the ability to get,” said Vice President Katie Melendez Umana.

“That’s important because education means everything. My dad was never educated, and my mom didn’t finish high school so they’re very limited. … to give someone the help to finish high school and hopefully get into college is major,” Melendez Umana added.

Though the She’s the First club at Baruch is only a small part of a bigger organization, the club members got the chance to meet CEO Tammy Tibbetts at the She’s the First eighth Annual Summit, as well as other members of the organization.

 “It’s cool to see how small efforts combine into one big effort,” said Regina Gagnon, president of Baruch’s chapter of She’s the First. “It is great being around a bunch of girls because girls are great and emotional and caring.”

The club doesn’t “fundraise like hundreds of thousands of dollars but it all comes together to make one big significant effort,” added Gagnon.

She’s the First fundraises and attends local events to help out communities that need a helping hand.

Gagnon said that last year the club “did a volunteering event for a special needs community that was cool,” and she hopes the club will be able to do it again this year.

Apart from helping girls from other countries, the members of She’s the First created a safe space where the members can bond and create a support system for each other.

Melendez Umana joined the club her second semester at Baruch after transferring and after attending her first She’s the First meeting.

“They were so warm and inviting and everyone still is warm and inviting to all of the new members. It’s not just one of us, it’s all of us,” she said.

Within the club, each member has the chance to advance and obtain different titles as their time in the club progresses.

Gagnon joined the club two years ago, during her sophomore year, starting as a general member, then became the executive assistant and is now the president of the club. 

“It’s a great organization and everyone in the club is very laid back, it’s not super formal. It’s just purely for a good cause and it’s fun. It’s a good combination of both,” said Gagnon.