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She’s the first

News Writer | Monday, September 30, 2013

I never considered not going to college. It wasn’t a question of whether I would go, but rather where I would go. For most of us, it’s assumed that we will get a college degree and it’s not something that we even think about. While in college, we get so caught up in tests, homework and classes that we lose sight of the bigger picture. It’s so easy to forget that in many parts of the world, it’s rare to get a secondary education. Only one out of every five girls in the developing world finishes primary school. Yet, an extra year of schooling typically equates to earnings of an extra 10 to 20 percent on average.
 She’s the First, a club at Notre Dame, raises money to sponsor education for girls in the developing world. Working in conjunction with the larger She’s the First organization, the club looks at how educating girls not only improves their lives, but also positively effects the country as a whole. The organization seeks to use education as a means of breaking the cycle of poverty. Research shows that girls who receive an education are likely to marry later, educate their children and be less vulnerable to abuse. Educating girls and giving them an opportunity to enter the workforce can also substantially increase a country’s gross domestic product.
It’s amazing that something that seems so basic to us, like getting an education, is so out of reach for people in other parts of the world. Getting an education is the norm in America. For many of us, it was always assumed that we would graduate high school and go to college. Because the opportunity is so readily available, we don’t look at the bigger picture and we lose sight of the chain of effects our education has on society as a whole.