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Razia Speaks at She’s The First

STF Executive Board with Razia Jan. From left to right Mrs. Ciccarelli (group advisor), Razia Jan, Kerri Lehmann (president), and Abbey McDaniel (treasurer).

STF Executive Board with Razia Jan. From left to right Mrs. Ciccarelli (group advisor), Razia Jan, Kerri Lehmann (president), and Abbey McDaniel (treasurer).

By: Beni D.

Duxbury High School’s newest club, She’s The First held a meeting on Tuesday Nov. 18 where guest speaker Razia Jan came to share her story of girls education in Afghanistan. The meeting was publicized to the whole school via first class and everyone was invited to attend the presentation.

Razia spoke about her mission, her school, and her students. In the seven years since the founding of the Zabuli Education Center for girls, Razia has built a student base of over 440 girls. They each walk miles to and from school every day and their only breaks are 10 days after each of three examination periods. Girls there love going to school and will do whatever it takes to go. On the other hand, She’s The First’s Publicity Coordinator junior; Rachel W. said, “I am guilty of taking my education for granted. I usually have trouble getting up in the morning…but there are thousands of girls who don’t get the opportunity to be educated.” Razia spoke very highly of the girls and said, “Every day is a great memory for me.”

Razia’s girls all go to school for free, and it costs $300 a year to educate each girl. This money is made through donations and fundraising. Christina Auer, a Duxbury High School graduate, has dedicated the past year to fundraising for Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation and has made over $600. She said, “I’ve realized through personal experience that there’s nothing better in all of existence than knowing that others are benefitting from your actions.”

She’s The First (STF) leaders and members are making an effort to have that same feeling. Treasurer Abbey M. said, “Being a teenager, it’s easy to feel like you can’t make a change… As a member of this world I feel we are all responsible to improving the lives of others.”

STF is a national non-profit organization that’s goal is to sponsor girls in developing countries to go to school and be the first girls in their family to gain an education. STF is run by what are known as campus chapter schools throughout the country. These are schools that fundraise money to sponsor girls’ educations.

Junior Kerri L. decided she wanted to make DHS a chapter school after conducting extensive research on the topic. “I learned a lot about how important girls’ education is from the research I’ve done… Education can keep a girl safe because she is in a safe place for the majority of her day.”

After getting the club approved by both STF and the school, Kerri L., along with a team of friends, was ready to start the club. Their first meeting was held on Oct. 21. They have a group of about 20 members and meet once a week. Junior Caitlyn S. is one of these members. Caitlyn S. said, “I like that not only is it focused on girls but giving them an education…and helping them achieve a better future.”

For Kerri L., the club isn’t just a pastime. She said, “A big goal for me in life is to help people. When I grow up I want to do work for developing treatments for diseases, so I really like the idea of helping girls by raising money for their education.” Abbey M. said, “It’s actually liberating to take a step back from grades, college, SATs, et cetera and focus on someone else for a change.”

STF meets on most Tuesdays at 3:00 in Mrs. Ciccarelli’s room A305, meeting dates and times will be publicized on the announcements. If interested in helping the cause, visit their fundraising page at http://campus.shesthefirst.org/DuxburyHS. Learn more about Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation at www.raziasrayofhope.org.

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