If a girl follows the path laid down by poverty, she’ll leave school and enter marriage. As a girl mother, an unskilled worker, and an uneducated citizen, she’ll miss out on the opportunity to reach her full human potential. And each individual tragedy, multiplied by millions of girls, will contribute to a much larger downward spiral for her nation and the world. – Lloyd, Cynthia. (2009). New Lessons: The Power of Educating Adolescent Girls.
Could I have imagined that in less than three years the Circle of Sisterhood would…
- Help remove barriers to education for girls in 12 countries?
- Fund a school-build project in Africa?
- Take a trek team of college women representing 10 different sororities and 13 different campuses, as well as an alumnae donor, to Africa to break ground on a school?
- Unite sorority communities on more than 150 campuses to create awareness about the global issues affecting women and raise funds to help educate girls?
- Have over 500 individual donors?
- Receive support from more than 20 alumnae organizations?
- Raise nearly a quarter of a million dollars?
Or could I have imagined the byproducts of this global humanitarian effort by sorority women?
Improved social capital for participating sorority communities, including:
- Affirmation from several Vice Presidents of Student Affairs appreciating the global awareness created within their sorority communities.
- A message from a university president indicating his pleasure in his sorority community’s involvement in this relevant and important global work.
- Campus fraternity/sorority advisors expressing unsurpassed community unity because their women are standing together around an important global cause.
- Women – alumnae and collegiate – have found a renewed sense of purpose in their sorority membership.
- We’ve uncovered a means to involve general sorority members in the community in a significant and meaningful way.
- Sorority women are teaching those they influence about important global issues.
- Organized alumnae organizations (ie. Alumnae Panhellenics) are engaging with college sorority communities in new ways.
Three years ago, I was inspired to act because I am an educated woman and because I believe educating girls is one of the most effective ways to fight poverty. I also believe schooling can be an impetus for girls to stand up against injustice. And, as a sorority woman committed to inspiring other women to realize their potential, how could I sit by when so much human potential was being wasted? So I asked a large group of sorority women to help, and the Circle of Sisterhood was born.
Could I have imagined that so much would be accomplished? No. And yes. We did not know what it would look like, but we were certain the sorority community would step up. We were certain that a community of women already dedicated to education and altruism would answer the call. We took a chance that the Circle of Sisterhood would be viewed as a compliment to the already very important domestic philanthropic work of ALL sororities.
Clearly, the impact in three short years demonstrates the power of the sorority community, and educated women, to stand up against injustice – together. What I have witnessed transcends letters and umbrella organizations. Sorority women are having an significant impact on the movement to educate girls around the world. And we can do so much more.
- What if every sorority community on college campuses across the U.S., numbering more than 600, got involved?
- What if every sorority woman, of which there are over 5 million, gave or raised $100 per year ($8 per month) to this effort?
- What if the friends and family members of every sorority woman gave or raised just $10 a year?
Sorority women are changing the world. When EVERY sorority woman gets involved in this work, we will transform the world.
Our mission is to “leverage the collective influence of sorority women to raise financial resources for entities around the world that are removing educational barriers for girls and women facing poverty and oppression.” We want all girls, everywhere, to be given the opportunity that we all have to achieve education.
To do that, we need every sister to step up. Will you?
One World. One Sisterhood.
In addition to establishing the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation, Carroll operates her own consultancy and frequently speaks, coaches and trains on topics surrounding professional skill development, volunteer training, team building and strategic planning. She is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and when not traveling, her home is Indianapolis, Indiana, and she is an Alpha Xi Delta.