I’ve been working with She’s the First since the beginning, but nothing has touched me so much as when I volunteered to go to Guatemala with our STF360 series to produce a documentary piece for one of our partner organizations. Starfish One by One provides scholarship funds and mentoring for indigenous Mayan girls.
During my week visiting Guatemala with executive director Christen Brandt and researcher Maisy Page, we were welcomed into several homes to meet the families of girls in the program. I spent most of my time with 18-year-old Francisca Chiviliu Quinac. In October, Francisca will be the first person in her family to graduate high school. Amid studying and attending her weekly mentoring sessions, Francisca helps her mother and little sister Brenda complete many chores around the house, from making 70 tortillas three times a day by hand to harvesting corn in the family’s yard to washing clothes by hand.
Speaking with Francisca made me realize the impact of Starfish One by One and the eight other organizations She’s the First supports. Her work ethic and outlook on life are truly inspirational. I can’t express the significance an education has had on Francisca; she explains best herself in the video. But it’s amazing to know that the work I do with She’s the First helps other girls to succeed as Francisca has.
I hope that her story inspires others to become sponsors as it did for Christen, Maisy and me. After meeting Francisca and many other girls in the program, we decided to co-sponsor a girl. It’s so exciting to receive updates about Ana Teresa’s progress and to know that we are truly making a difference in one person’s life. For fun ideas to sponsor a girl with your friends, visit She’s the First’s fundraising tips page.