Samford students have a unique chance to bond over a global cause through the Circle of Sisterhood. This Panhellenic philanthropy is bringing sorority women together from around the nation to fund for and build schools in developing nations. Senior and Human Development major, Maigan Jenkins, is on the philanthropy’s leadership committee and voiced the group’s potential to inspire global action on Samford’s campus.
Circle of Sisterhood founder Ginny Caroll felt inspired by the history of sororities in the nineteenth century. The beginning of sororities stemmed from the need for women to experience community on campuses in which they were the vast minority. College students in the U.S. can often forget the legacy left by students who advocated and fought for female inclusion in American higher education systems. While higher education is a shared life step for men and women today in the U.S., this situation is rare in developing areas.
“If you are going to college, you are in the 7 percent most educated people in the world,” said Jenkins.
With the Circle for Sisterhood Foundation, sorority women can unify to promote education for women living in areas dominated by cyclical poverty, trafficking and an overall lack of resources and independence.
“Carroll decided to use the platform of sorority women to bring education to women all across the globe,” said Jenkins.
While this is a philanthropy reaching communities far from its U.S. base, the Circle of Sisterhood functions through a tangible mission. Funds raised through campus events and fundraisers go toward building schools and providing teachers and resources to developing nations in need. Circle of Sisterhood groups go to these sites and assist in the building process and school openings.
Regarding the philanthropy’s approach to its global education goal, Jenkins said, “There’s a very direct link to the money that comes in and where it goes. It’s something for all sorority women to get behind instead of it being attached to one specific sorority.”
Although the foundation is new to Samford’s campus, its leadership committee has substantial goals for the future semesters and years ahead. Circle of Sisterhood Week occurs this semester to raise funds and awareness for global education for women. The Circle of Sisterhood and its campus partners strive to bring a variety of students together, regardless of their Greek letters and involvement, to work towards a cause larger than a single person or sorority.
“It’s about coming together for women as a whole,” said Jenkins.
As Jenkins and the philanthropy’s leadership committee introduce the group to campus, they seek to inspire a spirit of global outreach for Samford students. Samford’s Circle of Sisterhood group ultimately envisions raising enough funds to build a school in a developing country with students actively involved in the building process.
Getting involved with Circle of Sisterhood does not require a Greek affiliation, and all are welcome to participate in Circle of Sisterhood Week from Oct. 22 through 25.
Pictured: Circle of Sisterhood leadership, standing, left to right: Maigan Jenkins, Molly Finnegan, Emily Clark, Hannah Blazer, Mary Pratt Byrd. Front, left to right: Abbey Hammond, Emily Schneider, Milly Lopez.
[Photo courtesy of Maigan Jenkins]
Carol is a staff writer from Huntsville, Alabama. She is a junior English and Religion double major.