The main reason to join a networking group like Texas Wall Street Women is to have support for your career, and as an organization it is our mission to support our members in the achievement of their career goals. Given the rapid growth in the organization in the last 5.5 years that we have been around, I would like to think that we have been successful in helping you find the resources you need – whether it is information, a robust professional network, access to job information and even making lasting friendships along the way.
It is in that spirit of reciprocation that I ask you to help us support the students of the six schools across Texas started by the Foundation for the Education of Young Women. These schools are helping underserved girls achieve their college dreams. Why should you care about this?
As finance professionals, we know two things: 1) the global economy is a knowledge-based one. Without a college education, job prospects are poor. 2) the income gap in this country is widening at an ever increasing rate, and if history is any judge, a wide income gap fosters social unrest and violence. Then we add the following statistics to that equation – given its size and population growth, Texas will be responsible for educating about a third of the US workforce, and Texas now ranks 49th in public education spending on a per-pupil basis. I cannot imagine how this story can end well.
And this is why TXWSW has chosen to partner with the Foundation for the Education of Young Women. The first question is why only education for girls? I have stepsons and they have absolutely benefitted from being in a great school district and having us involved in their education. The simple answer is the Girl Effect – helping a girl changes the outcome for not only that one girl, but the family she will have in the future (to learn more: http://www.girleffect.org/why-girls/#&panel1-1) – or what we in finance refer to as the multiplier effect – more bang for our philanthropic buck!
These schools also focus heavily on STEM programming – math, science and technology are a big part of the curriculum and mandatory for each student, so these schools truly are preparing the students for the next generation of careers, and even careers in finance! The extra dollars we raise for the school go directly to the college readiness program. These girls start working with a college guidance counselor in sixth grade. Why so early? Because for the majority of these girls they will be the first in their family to graduate high school much less go on to college, so the support that a child in a household with educated parents has available from a very early age has to come from the schools starting in the sixth grade. They also need money for things like ACT & SAT fees and prep courses, college visits and tutoring.
I personally have been to many of the schools and met many students there over the 5.5 years. 80% of the students at the FEYW schools qualify for school lunch, many are homeless, and I have to say that I am absolutely humbled by these girls – in spite of the odds, they get up every day, get to school and work hard. Why? Because the schools have told them that if they do show up and do the work, the schools will help them achieve their college dreams – dreams that are about a better life and a way out – a way out of the cycle of poverty that their families have been trapped in for generations. A way out for the families that these girls will one day have.
And the best part of the story is that these FEYW schools are doing it. In spite of the odds, these schools are graduating these students from high school and getting them into 4 year colleges. TXWSW supports its members in their career development. Now we are asking you to support underserved girls in your community – please help us change the outcomes for these girls and the families they will have. So buy a ticket, donate a prize, and bring your friends and family to come help us support this amazing cause!
See you all at an event soon!