Occupation: Executive Director and founder of WEN.
How were the girls chosen to participate in the trip?
The girls are a part of the North Tulsa Kipp Tulsa College Prep program which offered them the opportunity to go on the trip. Each student sent in an application verifying their 3.0 or above GPA as well as extracurricular activities followed by resumes and interviews. The 10 girls selected will be accompanied by teachers who will be attending. Parents are welcomed to come if they would like to pay the full price.
Why was this trip so important for you to officiate?
I think that it’s important because it exposes the girls to other cultures and education in foreign countries. They will also be making connections and friendships beyond borders. Once they get to the “Girls Leading Our World Conference” which is the highlight of the trip, it will be 40 Gambian girls along with our African American girls who will enjoy a 3 day conference together. In conjunction to that, the girls are going on a tour of the city and stopping at schools where the Gambian girls attend so they will be able to see what the schools are like for them.
What is the itinerary for the trip?
This is a 12 day trip. The first stop will be in Morocco so that they can see North African culture and the vast difference between the development of North Africa in comparison to West Africa. We will spend 2 days in Morocco and the bulk of our trip in Gambia. All of these experiences will be captured in an inspired documentary, entitled, The World They Knew. It will feature the stories and follow the journey of the young participants. On the last day of the conference, we will host a reception with government officials who are going to come out and present the girls with certificates of appreciation.
Why should the community join in the fundraising efforts?
This is not just investing in a trip for a student but this is something that can ultimately change the girl’s perspective when dealing with other cultures and people. Everything has been financed by fundraising efforts with each student raising $850 dollars; which totals 17% of the budget. The goal is 43,500 and we have raised 39,000 so we need to raise about 5,600 before the end of May.