New York Women in Communications, Inc. Scholarship Opens New Path to Education for Girls Around the World
On May 18, 2012, She’s the First will host its biggest and brightest celebration of the year. Its annual GIRLS WHO ROCK concert will be held at New York City’s Gramercy Theatre. Leading musical ladies JoJo, Nikki Jean, Eddy and Nina Sky will celebrate She’s the First’s mantra, “Music is universal. Education should be too.” Hosted in partnership with Internet Week New York, GIRLS WHO ROCK unites the talents of leaders in the media, design and entertainment industries to advocate for girls’ education. In 2011, the concert raised $17,000 to support young female students at Arlington Academy of Hope in Uganda.
Although hosted in New York City, She’s the First has a special connection to one Ithaca College student, Elizabeth Stoltz, Class of 2013. In the spring of her senior year of high school, Stoltz, an integrated marketing communications major, submitted her application for the New York Women in Communications, Inc. scholarship. She never would’ve guessed that over the next four years this scholarship would eventually assist in funding not only her college education, but the education of young girls in developing countries around the world through She’s the First.
The evening before the scholarship’s award ceremony, Stoltz met Tammy Tibbetts, a web editor for multiple teen girls’ magazines and former NYWICI winner. In a New York City apartment crowded with other scholarship winners, Stoltz and Tibbetts swapped stories of working in Ethiopian and Liberian classrooms and the lack of young girls they saw filling school desks. A few weeks later, Tibbetts emailed Stoltz with a passionate vision for girls’ education. After Tibbetts shared her plan with other young women, She’s the First was born and Stoltz eagerly joined the organization’s Leadership Team.
In the years since this exciting exchange, Tibbetts and her team of leaders in media, education and women’s rights contributed their talents to focus on one goal: empowering girls in developing countries to be the first in their families to graduate.
Stoltz said, “She’s the First relies heavily on social media to engage young people in fundraising for girls’ education. As an integrated marketing communications major, I’ve used my social media skills to share the stories of the girls we support for thousands of online readers. It’s amazing to see how much She’s the First has grown since 2009. I’m honored to work alongside such talented and hardworking people committed to bringing the dreams of young girls to life. I’m also thrilled that Ithaca College embraces She’s the First too.”
The money raised from 2012’s GIRLS WHO ROCK concert will benefit the Shanti Bhavan school in India, a school that Ithaca College supported with its dollars and taste for tie-dye cupcakes. Last November, Ithaca College bought over $1,000 worth of Purity Ice Cream’s donated, custom-made cupcakes to support a girl at Shanti Bhavan.
Contributed by Elizabeth Stoltz.