With a mission to remove barriers to education for girls and women around the world, the Circle of Sisterhood (CofS) has assembled an amazing team of donors, supporters, volunteers and staff members who dedicate thousands of hours each year to make a difference. When they come on board with CofS, they become ambassadors, mentors and role models in hopes that they can help girls and women realize their potential and have a positive impact on their families and in their communities.
As we continue to hear from team members as part of our 11th Anniversary celebration, the individual stories are quite inspiring. Grace Crosthwaite, Philanthropy Director of the Panhellenic Council at Eastern Kentucky University, shared that she couldn’t have become an educated sorority woman without the help of her family and her sisters. They are her role models. They’ve lifted her up and continue to give her strength in everything she does, especially her coursework. She wants to pay it forward by being that same support system for those around her, as well as the girls and women she affects through her work with CofS.
“It breaks my heart to think that so many girls and women are unable to receive an education,” Grace said. “Before I learned about CofS and the oppression that women are facing, I took my education and my support for granted.”
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have that support system in place when they are young, so it’s inspiring when you see people giving back. CofS has been bringing these inspiring women together over the last 11 years so their efforts can be united and targeted for an even bigger impact across the world. Research shows that girls and women who have someone invested in their well being gain confidence that can lead to more opportunities and a willingness to use her voice. Add education to her accomplishments, and the opportunities are endless.
Grace wants to help give girls and women the confidence that comes with education. To make an impact, Grace visits the CofS website to keep up with the projects and initiatives that the organization is working on to see if there is a way that her campus can contribute. She finds ways to raise money on campus through events she’s coordinated, which also raises awareness for what CofS has done all around the world. Some of her proudest moments are when the women she talks to about CofS get involved because they want to better the lives of women too. She knows that the stories and statistics about the barriers to education are what makes them take action because that’s exactly what made her want to help. She read the book, Half the Sky, and before she was even a few pages in, she was heartbroken by a story of a girl who had escaped sex trafficking. That was when she decided to be part of the CofS mission.
“I tell the sorority women on my campus to appreciate the college experience we have, even though it can be extremely stressful because there are women who may not ever be able to have an experience even close to what we have as educated sorority women,” Grace said. “I no longer take the support that I have for granted because I know many people are unable to have the loving and powerful support that I am given daily by my Chi Omega sisters and my family.“
We hope you will join Grace, the board of trustees, staff, volunteers, and donors in supporting CofS, especially during these difficult times, in donating on CofS’ Day of Giving on September 30th. You can donate here. As CofS shares more stories like Grace’s leading up to its Day of Giving, be sure to join the conversation by tagging CofS on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter, as well as use #BeHerHero to come together as we work to open doors to opportunity through education.