New Club, She’s The First, fundraises for girls’ education


Samaaya Jayamaha, Reporter

Just last May, senior Gwen Gustafson (‘18) set out to found a chapter of She’s The First at BCHS after hearing about the organization from Brookfield East students. “She’s the First’s mission is to empower girls around the world by providing them with access to education. We brainstorm, plan, and carry out fundraisers throughout the school year,” she explained.

Towards the end of the previous year during the school picnic, Gustafson and her executive board had staked out a table to sell puppy chow, and quickly acquired a whopping sixty members from that day alone. “We were super impressed and excited that so many people wanted to take part, especially since we were nearing the end of the school year!” says Mariam Khan (‘18), one of the six executive board members.

Since their first meeting, the club has devoted their efforts to fundraising for a young student in Nepal. Over the summer, the group ordered Pura Vida bracelets to sell; these trendy wax-coated and handmade bands turned out to be a smashing hit for both adults and kids alike. Through door-to-door campaigning and renting out a table at the local farmer’s market, the group’s first fundraiser turned into a huge success.  “We sold hundreds of them, raising just over $500. During the school year in November, we’re planning to order more so that our club members can take part in the fundraising.” Teja Paturu (‘18) shared. “So far, the experience has been really satisfying. I’ve found that focusing my service to one individual made my work really meaningful.”

This fall, the club is thrilled to have so many enthusiastic new members who eagerly attend every meeting. The only thing She’s The First seems to be missing is the male participation. “I’m pretty sure we only have one male member. But it’s not an all girls club! This organization works to fight discrimination – if you have any guy friends, please invite them to join!” Khan clarifies. In addition to morning meetings, the group has some other exciting events planned for the autumn. “We’ll be having a cupcake off against East on October 10th at the East/Central soccer game, we’ll be selling more Pura Vida bracelets, and we’re planning a Fun Run [date TBA] for awareness.” Gustafson points out.

Although the year is just beginning, this new club is already on a fast track towards success. Paturu excitedly elaborated out what the future will bring. “I’m definitely looking forward to meeting the girl we gave a scholarship to. Once we raise enough money for one girl’s room, board, and tuition, She’s the First will connect us with the girl we have helped. We are super close to reaching that goal. I think it will be really cool to see what our chapter has done for someone.”

If you’re interested in taking part in She’s The First, email Gwen Gustafson at [email protected], and be sure to stop by the meetings that occur every other Tuesday morning in room 0059 at 7:30.