Andrew works for a scientific company in Maine, where he lives with his wife and two daughters. We sat down with Andrew to hear his thoughts on WISER and learn why he has become so passionate about creating opportunities for girls thousands of miles away.
W: What initially drew you to WISER?
AK: One of WISER’s co-founders, Andy, is my wife’s cousin, so I get to spend quality time with him a few times a year to hear what he is up to. When I first heard about WISER from him, I was blown away by its potential impact. The challenges sounded so huge, I might normally have been skeptical about its prospects for success—except Andy was involved, and he described the others leading the charge and the pipeline for leadership through partnerships. I knew it would work. But there was more than great leadership. When Andy described the challenges these girls face and how intertwined education, reproductive health, and having a safe environment is to enabling these incredible girls to achieve great things, I knew I had to be involved in some way.
W: How would you describe WISER’s mission and what it means to you?
AK: Its mission is to empower girls through a holistic approach to education. You take girls out of bad situations, create a brand new empowering environment with a combination of traditional textbook-style education and health and well-being, and it can completely change the path and trajectory of these girls’ lives. With a need that is so acute, you need the mission to be really focused. If you don’t have the focus, you could fail miserably in the face of such a compelling need. I love the tight focus and I think it’s been a key factor contributing to the school’s unbelievable success in transforming the lives of its graduates.
W: Why does this cause matter to you?
AK: I have two daughters, so I am highly attuned to the opportunities they have versus other girls and women in the world. I see the inequities that they have to deal with in the US, even with a relatively privileged lifestyle, where they still face challenges that boys don’t have. Seeing that and then hearing about the more significant challenges girls face in other parts of the world really draws you in. It makes WISER’s work so critically important. You don’t have to change the lives of all of the girls in Africa, you can just start somewhere. WISER gives someone like me, sitting in Portland, Maine, the opportunity to change the trajectory of a girl’s life thousands of miles away – that’s pretty amazing. It’s more than just sending money – it’s sending money to a place you know will use that money for the greatest impact.
W: Why do you choose to give to WISER?
AK: At this startup phase and with the clear focus of the mission, small donations make a big difference in each girl’s life. That’s really compelling to someone like me who might otherwise donate to a massive organization like the United Way, which also does great work, but is so huge that it would be very hard to see the impact of my individual donation. I know that at WISER, most of a donation gets used to do something positive for the lives of the WISER girls, without much going into overhead or operations. I choose organizations like this where I think money can make an impact. This way, I can maximize my contribution to something I believe in.
We can help you build a supporter story of your own. If you’d like to learn more about how you can make an impact like Andrew has, please contact Zack Fowler at [email protected]