Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Saturday, January 19, 2019

Artists share talent, raise money for Ugandan school girls

AU’s chapter of She’s the First continues its efforts to raise money and awareness for girls’ education.

AU student musicians and poets shared their voices to raise money for She’s the First, an organization that sponsors the education of young women in Uganda, at the club’s open mic night on March 28.

She’s the First is a nationwide organization. The AU chapter sponsors girls who attend the Arlington Academy of Hope in Uganda, according to Rain Freeman, the club’s vice president of programming.

She’s the First American has already raised around $37,000, according to the organization’s president, Lorraine Magee. The cost of sponsoring one girl for one year is $350.

Donations were collected at the door of the open mic and the club also sold doughnuts to raise money for its cause. She’s the First raised $276 by the end of the night.

The organization decided to fundraise by hosting an open mic because AU has a wealth of performers willing to participate, Freeman said.

“We have so many talented artists on campus and we wanted to have an exposé of the creativity at AU,” she said.

Over 70 people attended the event and there were 12 acts, according to the chapter’s Facebook page.

Some of the acts, from a performer who presented a poem about the importance of teachers to a feminist folk singer, directly related to the organization’s value of female empowerment through education. The Array of Pants, whose members are students, performed and Magee sang Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off,” a song she said inspired the group leaders.

Between acts, Magee shared stories of the students supported by She’s the First, including one recent graduate of the Arlington Academy of Hope the club sponsored who is the president of the HIV awareness club at her school and the first to study science there.

“As much as we’re doing to support these girls, they’re taking a million more steps towards a brighter future themselves,” Magee said.

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