She’s The First Temple is helping to end educational inequality worldwide

Education inequality between men and women is an issue in various countries around the world. Women are not given the same resources and opportunities to go to school that men receive. She’s the First Temple is a chapter of a national organization that is hoping to change this.

The organization, whose Temple chapter started about three years ago, sponsors female scholars to help them gain access to the resources they need to get an education and to support women who will be the first in their families to graduate high school. Faculty advisor Kimberly Goyette says raising funds for these students is only one of the goals of the organization.

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According to She’s the First’s website, the national organization, which was founded in 2009, has 225 campus chapters, including Temple, and has sponsored 923 scholars’ educations. The organization sponsors scholars in 11 low-income countries worldwide.The focus is getting each scholar to graduation, not just through another year of school.

I think students in the U.S. do not realize how difficult it is for girls and women in some places across the globe to be able to go to school, and even when they do, to have the same resources provided to them as are provided to boys and men,” says Goyette, stating that raising awareness of this global issue as a primary goal of She’s the First.

In her time with the organization, Goyette has seen the organization grow, now partnering with other Temple organizations and doing more fundraising for their scholars. The fundraising events, ranging from bake sales to collaborations with campus businesses, goes directly to sponsoring the organization’s scholars.

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According to President Julia Clements, a senior journalism major, the organization also has a program called STF Global Awareness, which is a part of the scholar mentorship program that allows the scholars they sponsor to be globally aware and to see how their own education has an impact on the world.

Clements says that this year, She’s the First Temple has five scholars, two from Ethiopia and three from Peru. The scholars are assigned to Temple’s chapter from the national chapter. Clements says Temple’s chapter started out with only one student, but the chapter was given more after they were able to fund all four years of the original scholar’s education.

Clements’ main goal is to make sure the organization is sustainable, even after she graduates.

“I want people who don’t really necessarily think about these things to hear about us and think about us,” she adds. She is hoping that people other than those who know about global education inequality to find out about the organization and attend events to learn more.

Lindsey Gilbert, a sophomore and the organization’s co-president, echoes the sentiment of wanting more people to be engaged with the organization.

“By being engaged participants in the organization, I hope that our members are able to become leaders in the fight against gender inequality, advocates for social change, and, of course, active global citizens,” Gilbert says.

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Story by: Ashley Paskill

Photos by: Zhi Lin

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