Who knew that, if given the opportunity, women would rally together to do amazing things? Ultimately, I think Skylar and I did. We knew that we knew women who could make things happen, and that's why together we decided to try something big.
Skylar, a local high school student, agreed to share her [he]art with The Hope Project to create some magic. The idea was simple: sell a beautifully designed t-shirt to everyone we know – and everyone those people knew – and a young Liberian woman gets a college education. I couldn't imagine a scenario that's more win-win for everyone involved.
Liberia is the 4th poorest country in the world. Civil war and poverty have left this beautiful country suffering. The Hope Project is a grassroots non-profit that is partnering with a Liberian community to send 1,200 students to school (Pre-K - 12th grade) who otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity. We have long dreamed of being able to send some graduates to college, but haven't been able to do so.
Girls in Liberia, going to college, benefiting their local communities and country. How beautiful is that? Like I said: it's magic.
Our first order of 160 shirts – promoted and sold purely through social media – sold out in one week. Now we're ready to release our second run, and to simplify things for everyone involved we decided to make the process a little more "official." The first batch is benefiting Hope International School graduate, Deborah Gibson, who dreams of going to medical school. This scholarship will now put her on that track by covering the cost of her first 4 years of college. The second recipient will be announced sometime in August 2015 after sales are in from our second batch of shirts.
Thank you for participating in the magic – it will change everything for a girl, a community, and ultimately an entire country.
Skylar Martinez, artist and world-changer
Deborah Gibson, graduate and future health care provider