Hello! I am looking forward to this new adventure in connecting with female changemakers around the world.
I am a graduate of Portland State University with a BA in Child & Family Studies and MS in Conflict resolution. Due to my interest in an international career I tailored my studies in development work, women's empowerment, social justice, cross-cultural communication, peace studies, and human rights.
While completing my master's degree I traveled to Maharashtra and Rajasthan, India to intern with two NGO's focused on women's empowerment through micro-loans and girls education. I went India not knowing what I might encounter, but always with the intention of embracing and learning. During my internship in Rajasthan I met many young girls who were out of school, who worked at home, or were married. There was one girl I met who was only 14 years old and had recently been married to a boy just a couple years older than her. Her in-laws decided to pull her out of secondary school because their son had not completed his own education. In other words, they did not want her education status to be higher than his. In her eyes and voice she was determined to return to school regardless of the consequences. I left with incredible new knowledge and an even greater desire to serve others.
Once I completed my degree I decided to start a nonprofit organization called Education for Equality International. Our mission is to promote girls' education, empowerment, and leadership in developing countries. I have written a curriculum to help build awareness of gender-based violence against women and girls, risks of child marriage, importance of education for girls, and to teach skills in conflict resolution, gender equality advocacy, and being agents of change.
Since starting EEI I have returned to India to seek out a local NGO in Rajasthan that I could partner with and develop our empowerment program, and carry out our pilot project. I am so thankful that I have had success in both of these goals! Earlier this year I went to Rajasthan to co-facilitate our Brave New Girl program to thirteen adolescent girls which was organized by my partner organization in the local village.The girls who participated in this program have been sponsored by EEI and granted scholarships to complete their secondary education. My hope is that one day EEI’s program can be led by local leaders in their community all around the world in an effort to keep girls in school, address the root causes of gender discrimination, and create a better world for future generations of women and girls.
I have joined World Pulse to connect and network with others who believe in an equal and just world for women and girls. I am searching for funding opportunities for my nonprofit, advice on community building and trainings, and future project site opportunities. I seek to offer my knowledge and expertise, but I also am open to learning from others. I have a passion to engage in unique and meaningful conversations, foster trust to build rapport, and greatly encourage the voices of others to be heard. I want to understand and learn what it is that women and girls are doing or want to do in their communities to create change. As I have worked hard to create a safe space for the young women I serve in India I also aim to do this in the online community.
I can’t wait to talk with all of you!