How an Eight-Year-Old Raised $600 for Girls' Education

The first tie-dye cupcake bake sale to fundraise for She’s the First happened in 2010, on the University of Notre Dame campus—the year STF Supporter Charlotte was born.

Charlotte turned 8 this year and has literally grown up alongside She’s the First (November 1st was our 9th birthday!). Over Charlotte’s lifetime, our first bake sale turned into #BakeAChange: Every Fall, She's the First supporters of all ages unite to raise money for quality global girls' education by hosting colorful bake sales at school, in their community, and at the office. To date, supporters have raised over $230,000 for STF Scholars. Host a bake sale of your own!

So when Charlotte’s 8th birthday party rolled around, she knew she wanted to do something special. The idea she came up with? Hosting her own #BakeAChange with a twist: A cupcake-decorating birthday party.

Charlotte celebrating her eighth birthday with #BakeAChange, post-cupcake decorating

Charlotte celebrating her eighth birthday with #BakeAChange, post-cupcake decorating

Charlotte first learned about STF in kindergarten, when she and her mom logged their walk to Charlotte’s school on the Charity Miles app. Charlotte was hooked on the idea of connecting with girls around the world, and her work with STF immediately took off: When Charlotte learned that #BakeAChange launched on her birthday last year, she dedicated her 7th birthday to support an STF scholarship for an entire year. (And yes, she ended up surpassing this goal!)

This year, Charlotte wanted her birthday to be even bigger than her seventh. She decided to host a cupcake decorating party, so that her friends could join in on the fun, too. Charlotte baked 75 cupcakes with our She’s the First anthem on for inspiration—and even recruited her five-year-old brother, Jack, to help. When her birthday finally came in late October, she passed around fact sheets on the girls’ group her #BakeAChange funds would support, set up handmade posters about STF, and got to frosting her cupcakes, something Charlotte later declared as, “one of her favorite parts of her #BakeAChange experience.”

When her in-person bake sale was rained out, Charlotte went door-to-door hand-delivering cupcakes to customers instead. Her advertisements were so popular that she even received an order for a community event, raising a total of more than $600 for girls’ education worldwide.

Charlotte, as she hand-delivers cupcake orders in her neighborhood

Charlotte, as she hand-delivers cupcake orders in her neighborhood

There are so many ways to be an activist—using a cupcake bake sale to engage your community in learning about the importance of girls’ education is one of them.

If bake sales aren't for you, think about how you could take other actions, like Dorcus & Esther. They organized a workshop in Uganda to break taboos around women’s health and provide women in their community with reusable sanitary pads. Or the She’s the First chapter at University of Rochester for hosting a sexual assault awareness week on campus. Or STF Fellow Verónica who wanted to support fellow indigenous youth in her community with professional development workshops.

When we asked Charlotte why she wanted to be involved in #BakeAChange, she replied, “Because I wanted girls to go to school so they could grow up to be what they dream of, have fun, learn at school, and prove that girls can do anything! They can change the world.” We couldn’t agree more.