What could be a more fitting place for a NYC She’s the First Tweetup than the Celebrate Cafe inside the Bowery Poetry Club, owned by the inspiring Lower East Side Girls Club? I’d always heard bits and pieces about the Girls Club: their dedication to providing safe spaces for girls of NYC to learn, grow, and follow their dreams. And now there I was, surrounded by young women informed of our cause via the wonder that is online social media, ready and eager to learn more.
After the She’s the First President/Founder, Tammy Tibbetts, gave a brief overview of our She’s The First goals, we all introduced ourselves and mentioned how we first heard about the cause. And while I don’t personally have a Twitter account (yet!), the ways in which these young professionals heard about STF really proved the power of word of mouth!
As photographer of the night, I got to get close and personal with our attendees when I took their portraits and asked them, “What are you the first to do? What do you still want to be the first to do?” Every answer I received was just as incredible as the women themselves, like Kaitlin Davis, who is the first in her family to perform at Carnegie Hall or girls-school teacher Stephanie, who is the first in her family to get a Masters Degree and go cliff diving, or even NYU Journalism and French Major Lauren Strupp, who was the first in her family to study abroad to Paris. Equally inspiring were the goals of the actual girls of the Lower East Side Girls Club, like Besa Balidemaj, who dreams of being the first woman to open an international organization in Kosovo that protects families, educates them, and helps them achieve their goals financially.
I had such an amazing time getting together with all of the She’s The First supporters, and I was reminded that not every supporter is a she! I loved that I got a chance to meet Ajit George, the US Director of Operations for Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project, where our guest blogger Shreya Bhatt is volunteering this summer. My favorite part of every She’s The First event is when we have new people come and inquire about our non-profit. While photographing the girls, I was approached by Edward (another guy!) who was impressed with our efforts concerning girls’ education and admitted that his girl cousins in the Philippines have even asked him to send money for school instead of Barbie dolls for Christmas presents. All they want to do is learn.
We loved hearing from him and our Tweeters, and now we want to hear your stories! What do you want to be the first to do? You can still be part of the Tweetup if you tweet your answer to @shesthefirst and use our hash tag #CelebrateSTF!
Also, here’s a video from our Director Christen Brandt — experience the Tweetup in 43 seconds!