Rodriguez uses Emmy money to send undocumented student to college

Gina Rodriguez is using the money that would otherwise be spent on Emmys “For Your Consideration” campaigns and giving to the worthiest of causes: education.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the “Jane the Virgin” star convinced her show’s network, The CW, to use her portion of the “FYC spend toward a college scholarship for an undocumented high school student.”

A member of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s board of directors, EW says Rodriguez partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles to “locate a Latinx high school student who plans to attend Princeton University in the fall,” allowing the student to “complete a four-year degree without financial burden.”

For Rodriguez, the attempt to do something for the Latinx community is natural, even one that has been encouraged by showrunners.

Our show has always jumped at any opportunity to help me do something for the Latinx community,” said Rodriguez, EW reports. “So I asked my showrunner, Jennie [Snyder Urman], if we could do something different with the money this year.”

And something different they did.

Survivor of Taliban attack graduates with honors

No one should have their education stripped away from them, not even at the hands of a bullet — that’s what this recent graduate is teaching the world.

According to HuffPost, 28-year-old Breshna Musazai of Afghanistan recently received her completed her studies in law last month from American University in Kabul, all “after she was shot twice in the leg by Taliban insurgents who are opposed to education for women.”‘

Attending high school and college in Pakistan, HuffPost says Musazai and her family returned to Afghanistan in 2011, the year she began her law studies at American University; but in 2016, Taliban fighters attacked the campus. Huffpost reports that because her right leg was crippled from polio, Taliban fighters shot her twice in her left leg, leaving her to play dead for hours until responders secured the scene; a total of 13 people were killed in the invasion.

Musazai went on to the United States to receive medical treatment, and HuffPost says she later returned to school in a wheelchair, proving her strength and her ability to rise above her circumstances.

“When I was a disabled child, I always thought that I was nothing. Now when I see people who say they are inspired by me, I feel so strong,” Musazai told Women in the World, according to HuffPost. “I want them to know that their support makes me want to do more. It also feels so good to see people using my story to support women’s education.”

Now armed with a degree and the admiration of countless around the world, HuffPost says Musazai wants to make sure the Taliban knows exactly what they’re up against.

“I want to tell [them] that they can try to kill as many of us as they can, but that doesn’t mean we will stop fighting them,” she said. “I am going to continue to work and struggle.”

Makeup brand has gun violence mission

Lipstick is for more than just painting them a vibrant hue — it’s about much more, thanks to The Lipstick Lobby.

According to Bustle, this “social justice-minded makeup brand” has released a new lipstick shade that aims to raise awareness on the issue of gun violence and try to eliminate the problem altogether.

The Lipstick Lobby’s “Fired Up” lipstick shade — a bright orange-red blend that contains Vitamin C and E and glides on in a matte finish — not only packs a punch in terms of color, it also vegan and cruelty-free, says Bustle, making it even more of a do-gooder lipstick.

As if that’s not enough, Bustle reports that Lipstick Lobby will also donate the net proceeds from the sales of the $19 shade to The Brady Center, an “advocacy group that is working to reduce gun deaths by half as of 2025.”

Ready to make a purchase and help stomp out gun violence? Click here.

#MeToo movement makes way for more female graduation speakers

Graduation from any level of education is significant, but this year, there is added meaning to the ceremonies.

According to the Associated Press, 2018 marks a milestone in U.S. college graduation exercises, as “the majority of the nation’s top colleges are featuring women as their spring commencement speakers” for the first time in at least two decades. The impetus behind the change? AP reports that industry experts are crediting the swing toward female speaks to the #MeToo movement that has reignited the flame of female empowerment in the United States and around the world.

And the increase in female commencement speakers this year is significant; AP reports that this year, “women account for nearly 60 percent of the speakers at the 25 schools that have the largest endowments and traditionally carry the clout to draw big names to the lectern.” In previous years, however, AP says women accounted for a mere quarter of the speakers at those same schools over the past 19 years.

While AP says that while some universities said the #MeToo movement didn’t specifically shape their decisions, companies hired to find commencement speakers said that they’ve seen a major increase in requests for women that correlated with the timing of the the #MeToo movement’s inception and takeoff.

“There’s been a much bigger push to bring in white females, black females — anyone other than a white male,” said Richard Schelp, owner of Executive Speakers Bureau.

So just who are some of the women speaking at graduations this year? For starters, Sheryl Sandberg will do the honors of delivering a commencement address at MIT, according to AP, while Dartmouth will host Mindy Kaling. Not to mention Amal Clooney will descend upon Vanderbilt, while AP says Hillary Clinton will return to her alma mater and speak at Yale’s commencement.

 

 

Girl Scout wants girls to raise their hands

Girls should never feel unable to speak up — not in a classroom as kids and not in a conference room as adults. And one young girl scout is aiming to teach girls just that.

According to Scary Mommy, Alice Paul Tapper (daughter of CNN’s Jake Tapper) wrote an op-ed published in The New York Times, called “I’m 10. And I Want Girls to Raise Their Hands,” all with an aim of getting her peers to speak up and use their voice in the classroom. But not only did she write on the topic, she also took action.

After noticing boys standing in front and answering all the questions on a fourth-grade field trip, Scary Mommy says Tapper went back to her Girl Scout troop feeling upset, thinking girls didn’t want to speak up because they were afraid to answer the question wrong or because the boys were already owning the limelight. After sharing her concerns, her friends said they noticed the issue too, and decided to create a “Raise Your Hand” Girl Scout patch, which is now an official badge with all Girl Scout troops.

Writing on its goal in her op-ed, Tapper explained she hopes the patch will encourage girls to use their voices despite their fears or worries.

“People say girls have to be 90 percent confident before we raise our hands, but boys just raise their hands. I tell girls that we should take the risk and try anyway, just like the boys do. If the answer is wrong, it’s not the end of the world. It’s not like answering a trivia question to win a million dollars on live TV.”

Amen to that.

Malala brings ‘girl power’ to Iraq on her 20th birthday

Malala Yousafzai is known globally as the single most powerful voice in the fight for securing education for girls around the world. And even on her birthday, the young advocate used her day to focus on giving the gift of education to girls in Iraq.

According to HuffPost, Yousafzai spent her 20th birthday on July 12 — also known as “Malala Day” — by speaking to girls at Iraq’s Hassan Shami camp for the displaced, located just outside of Mosul. The visit, HuffPost reports, is part of her “Girl Power Trip,” which aims at “promoting education for women and girls around the world.”

During her time at the camp, HuffPost says Yousafzai met with girls living under the Islamic State and heard their stories, one of which she documented in a blog post. Meeting with a 13-year-old Iraqi girl named Nayir, Yousafzai wrote that despite having fled Mosul, the young scholar has maintained her determination when it comes to attaining an education.

“‘No matter what, nothing will keep me from finishing my studies,'” she told me. Her new classroom is a small tent in the camp. She just took her exams in sweltering heat,” Yousafzai wrote of her conversation with Nayir.

 

Driving home the importance of education, Yousafzai shared another snippet of her meeting with Nayir:
“But Nayir knows that education is her best chance for a better future. After all she has suffered, she described the feeling of returning to school: ‘It was as if all my hopes came back.'”
Here’s hoping countless girls around the world find their hopes return to them through education.

Yousafzai brings advocacy to social media

While Malala Yousafzai officially completed her last day of secondary school, the 19-year-old education advocate is far from finished in her fight to secure education for girls around the world.

In fact, BBC reports that to mark her last official day as a high schooler on July 7, Yousafzai sent her first-ever tweet from her account to share a message on education and her future pursuits in advocating for education worldwide.

“I know that millions of girls around the world are out of school and may never get the opportunity to complete their education,” she wrote in a thread of six tweets, says BBC. “Next week, I will be back on my to meet girls in Middle East, Africa & Latin America.”

Completing her thread by reaffirming the power of girls’ voices as “our most powerful weapons in the fight for education and equality,” BBC says Yousafzai asked her more than 200,000 followers to join her in her efforts for education.

“On and off Twitter, I’m fighting for girls —  will you join me?​”

We surely will, Malala.

Rihanna takes on new role in Malawi

Rihanna is changing the world, not just in her music but in everything she does.

According to TIME, the singer visited Malawi in January to “learn about the educational challenges facing students there,” even “teaching math, reading with kids, and leading chants on the playground.”

Through Global Citizen, its Global Partnership for Education and her Clara Lionel Foundation, TIME says Rihanna is on board to help improve “access to education for some of the world’s poorest students.” Her trip came as an attempt to sway world leaders to pledge $3.1 billion to the Global Partnership for Education, reports TIME, which helps to improve the quality of schools in 89 countries.

In a video released highlighting her trip, TIME says Rihanna discussed the impact of minimal resources on students.

“It’s such a pity that they have to drop out, because they are so smart,” she said. “Everybody’s learning together, and learning at the same pace it seems. It’s sad that has to end for some of them, because they could probably do so much if they had the resources to continue and complete.”

Here’s hoping the efforts of Rihanna and others will help give students the supplies and opportunities they need to thrive.

 

Beyoncé launches scholarship program

Beyoncé is making it a little easier for young women to pursue higher education.

In honor of the one-year anniversary of surprise album LemonadeELLE reports that the singer is launching the “Formation Scholars” awards for the 2017-2018 academic year, which aims to “encourage and support young women who are unafraid to think outside the box and are bold, creative, conscious and confident.”

The award is open to current or incoming female students of undergraduate or graduate status that are “pursuing studies in creative arts, music, literature or African-American studies,” says ELLE. Four scholarships will be awarded — one to each participating university, which are Berklee College of Music, Howard University, Parsons School of Design, and Spelman College.

If students are interested in applying, details are available from each college.

 

Stars support education for girls around the world

Countless girls may be one step closer to achieving an education thanks to the help of a celebrity-backed campaign.

According to Teen Vogue, 81 celebrities — including Lady Gaga, Blake Lively, Natalie Portman, Danai Gurira and Rashida Jones — have “signed an open letter that is part of ONE‘s campaign to support education of girls all around the world.”

Called “Poverty is Sexist,” the organization’s campaign seeks to help the nearly 130 million girls who lack funds necessary to attain a proper education secure just that, says Teen Vogue; the open letter signed by some of Hollywood’s best and brightest will be sent to leaders around the world in the hopes that action will be taken to give all girls access to education.

“All children deserve a good education, but in the poorest countries girls are denied it more often than boys,” the open letter says, according to Teen Vogue. “Education is vital for moving out of poverty. Every additional year of school that a girl completes increases her future earnings, which is good for her family, her community and her country.”

To help girls get the education they deserve, add your name to the letter here.