Club fundraises for charity

In order to raise money for female-identifying people in impoverished nations, members of Lawrence University’s She’s the First club hosted a bake sale during Blue and White Weekend. The sale was held on the second floor of Warch Campus Center and was the first fundraiser of the year for this newly constructed club.

The club was founded during the Spring Term of 2018 by junior Ashlei Raifsnider. Raifsnider discovered the non-profit organization while researching potential graduate schools online and was hopeful to implement a chapter at Lawrence University. Now president of the Lawrence chapter, Raifsnider is eager to continue the mission of She’s the First on campus this year.

Through the three required fundraisers hosted each year, money is raised to provide female-identifying people in underdeveloped countries with money for scholarships, health needs, housing and food. The money is specifically intended for female-identifying people in these countries who will be the first to graduate from high school in their family and intend to go on to college, for the mission of the organization is to empower women through education.

Despite the possible misperceptions of the name, She’s the First is inclusive to all genders and all people. Although the organization targets first-generation female-identifying high school graduates to benefit from its fundraisers, membership is open to everyone, and new members are always welcome.

Club meetings are held every Wednesday at 6 p.m. During these meetings, members not only participate in icebreakers and group logistical matters but also discuss relevant issues about education and women around the world through what is called a Global Awareness Project. Members are also encouraged to brainstorm fundraising activities or may prepare for upcoming events.

Prior to the sale, members met at Sabin House to bake cupcakes and cookies in hopes of reaching their fundraising goal of $50. This goal was met prior to Saturday afternoon due to the support from parents, students and alumni around campus this past weekend.

When asked about goals for Lawrence University’s chapter of She’s the First, Raifsnider discussed the importance of not just educating the Lawrence community but the Appleton one as well. According to Raifsnider, the group aims “to branch out not only to the Lawrence community but to the Appleton community and start helping people to understand what’s going on in these other countries and how we can help.”

The goal of She’s the First is not only to provide scholarships and money for female-identifying people in underdeveloped countries but also to educate people around the world about how they can help others. With over 200 campus chapters in colleges and high schools, She’s the First aims to educate, mentor and enrich global leadership.

Since the first launch of She’s the First in 2009, there are over 1,000 scholars, female-identifying people who have been equipped with scholarships and mentorship in order to change the world around them. Though many of the campus chapters are located within the United States, the mission has spread globally to every continent other than Antarctica.