“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”
This quote always struck me. While the quote itself is hard-hitting, the person behind the quote makes it all the more interesting: Hellen Keller. A woman who, in many ways, did not have a ‘traditional’ life because of circumstances she could not control. And yet, she did amazing things with a transformative attitude.
It’s all about perspective.
As an Account Supervisor at MRY, I spend my days thinking about our clients’ social channels and the end consumer perspective for brands. At night, I think about girls around the world who do not have access to the resources available in other parts of the world, and their perspective on life and opportunity.
Why have these girls made an imprint on my thoughts and perspective on life? It started with the numbers. Over the past several years I learned some startling statistics about girls’ access to education:
- One in four girls in the developing world is not in school
- Of the 130 million youth who are out of school in the world, 70% are girls
- One in 7 girls are wed before age 15 in the developing world
As I continued to learn learned more, I decided I had to take action. I found an organization (on Twitter, of course!) that is using the power of social media to encourage young people to creatively fundraise. And just like that, I joined She’s the First as an Ambassador, spreading the word about girls’ education issues and the opportunities to sponsor girls. After two years working with the organization, I decided it was time to see the issues and the changes for myself.
I approached my roommates about the idea of visiting a STF school and they immediately were in. We spent days researching the schools we could visit and one consistently surfaced: Arlington Academy of Hope in Uganda. The statistics were outstanding: Typical village schools in the area send 14% of students to secondary school while AAH has sent 100% of its graduating primary school classes to secondary school.
We had to see the school for ourselves. That night, we made several bold goals:
- Raising money to sponsor at least 20 girls at Arlington Academy of Hope ($7,200)
- Visiting the girls we sponsor and develop curriculum for our visit
- Raising awareness for girls’ education in the US through content
We spent the next several months preparing our fundraising campaign that will run throughout the summer- and we want you involved. If you are interested, there’s several ways to get involved wherever you are!
NYC to AAH: How You Can Help! from Carla Blumenthal on Vimeo.
I’ll be sharing photos, videos, and thoughts from my trip on the MRY blog before and after my trip. I hope you’ll join me on my trip to the Pearl of Africa. It will be sure to change our perspectives.
-Written by Carla Blumenthal
Follow Carla @carlablumenthal during her trip to sponsor girls @AAHUganda through @shesthefirst.