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Saint Mary’s STEM clubs partner with Campus Ministry to raise money for women’s education

| Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Saint Mary’s Affiliates of the American Chemical Society has partnered with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Physics Club and Campus Ministry to co-sponsor a fundraising campaign with the international organization ME to WE.

ME to WE works to provide resources for women in developing countries. Of the campaign’s five pillars of aid — food, water, education, opportunity and health — Saint Mary’s has decided to sponsor women’s education.

Saint Mary’s students believe in our mission to ‘Pay it Forward,’ and this campaign ties into that so well,” senior Heather DiLallo said. “As an all-women’s college, we have to support the development and enrichment of women in developing countries so that equal opportunity can be a reality for us all.”

The STEM women participating in the ME to WE campaign said they found it relevant to Saint Mary’s core values to make more STEM positions available to women.

“Women in STEM are the minority, so it is important for these women to feel supported, empowered and encouraged by other women,” said Elizabeth Innis, senior SWE president. “It is also incredibly important for STEM women to share this support with those in need. Beyond our own small groups and beyond our families, we belong to a rich, global community of women who need to support each other by whatever means possible.”

The ‘We Are Rafikis’ campaign is selling local tribal bracelets to support women’s education in Tanzania. Each bracelet costs $10, and all profits made from the sales goes back to support African women and their education.

“These bracelets are so cute and are an inexpensive way for each of us to make a difference,” DiLallo said. “It doesn’t impact most of us if we spend $10, but, for those women, that amount of money could be huge. It could help pay for their schooling or go into a seed fund for a new business idea they have.”

This will be the second year Saint Mary’s is participating in the campaign.

“I am hopeful that the ME to WE campaign at Saint Mary’s will continue on for several years, and that new service-based opportunities will become available,” Innis said. “There is never a shortage of need, and I am confident that future Belles — and future STEM women — will step [up] and continue to serve the global community.”

Kate McMahon, of the class of 2018, and DiLallo decided to launch the campaign when McMahon had a communications class with one of the students who did a project on ME to WE.

“When Kate was telling me about it, we both got so excited at what ME to WE was doing and decided to see if we could partner with them,” DiLallo said. “ME to WE has an established ‘We are Rafikis’ campaign and partnership with colleges, so it was a natural fit for us to join that.”

The campaign began Feb. 8 and will run through March 8. Payments can be made by cash or check to either the Campus Ministry office in Regina 161 or professor Jennifer Fishovitz in Science Hall 162.

There will also be an opportunity to purchase the bracelets in the Student Center Atrium on March 1 during lunch.

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