By Darby Nugent, College Panhellenic Association Vice President of Philanthropy
After spending a year abroad working to promote education for young girls in Central America, I knew I want to spend my time in college doing the same. Within a week of returning from C.A. I was headed down to USC for sorority recruitment and feeling completely overwhelmed. I didn’t know if being in a sorority was really for me. Then, my first day of recruitment, I attended the Sorority 101 program. Hearing about the time and financial commitment of being in Fraternity and Sorority Life was helpful, but what changed my mind about whether or not I belonged in the community at USC was hearing about our Panhellenic philanthropy, Circle of Sisterhood.
Hearing Ginny Carroll, the founder of Circle of Sisterhood and a sorority alumna, speak about the impact education can have on a girl’s life and the numerous barriers girls in underdeveloped nations must overcome to achieve education resonated with me. The pictures she showed of the numerous treks she had been on and the women that Circle of Sisterhood had empowered made me think of the girls I had worked with during my gap year. During my time in Central America I spent most of my time launching an after school program in one of the underserved villages in Belize. I remember on my first day there asking a group of girls, no older than 12, what they wanted to be when they grew up and every single one of them saying they didn’t want to be anything- they had never been given to opportunity to dream and aspire to a profession. This was heartbreaking for me.
Circle of Sisterhood’s goal is to change this. Through education, Circle of Sisterhood seeks to empower women. Education is the answer to many of the global issues related to women such as poverty, oppression, misogyny, abuse, and brutality. However, education is not always easy for young girls to obtain. Several barriers such as cultural norms, security, human trafficking, and cost of education prevent girls from going to school. Circle of Sisterhood seeks to remove these barriers and make education accessible in order to empower women and girls globally. After all, studies show that educating girls is the most effective way to fight poverty.
CPA chose Circle of Sisterhood as their philanthropy because sorority women are the largest group of college-educated women in the world. We’re also super passionate about changing the world for the better, making us the best fit for Circle of Sisterhood’s mission.
I loved Circle of Sisterhood’s mission and I totally agreed with the process and I knew it was something that I HAD to be a part of. By my second semester at USC, I was already the Circle of Sisterhood delegate and committee head for my chapter. It quickly became my favorite thing about not only Greek Life, but my college experience at USC as a whole. The more I learned about women’s rights globally and the more I invested in Circle of Sisterhood, the more acutely aware I was of the privilege we have simply by attending college. I want to make a difference for girls who are not as fortunate as I am.
As I start my third year here at USC as the Vice President of Service for College
Panhellenic Association and the committee head for Circle of Sisterhood, I can’t wait to continue promoting awareness and education for girls globally. I also look forward to going on trek this December to build a school in Senegal which will give numerous girls access to education and empower them and their futures.
Learn more about Circle of Sisterhood here
Follow @circleofsisterhood and @uofsc_circleofsisterhood on Instagram to stay updated with the official philanthropy and the USC chapter as we go on trek!
Venmo uofsc_cofs to donate