Campus Spotlight: The University of Iowa, Multicultural Greek Council

IMG_3547The Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) at the University of Iowa hosted its 3rd Annual Penny Wars fundraiser during the 2013 Greek Week. Every fraternity and sorority that participated was paired or grouped together, and assigned their own plastic container to collect change. Each cluster consisted of two or three chapters. Penny wars are a tried and true fundraiser and competition, but for those campuses that are not aware, the goal of a “Penny War” competition is for a team to have the most pennies in their containers. Pennies were counted as positive points and silver coins and dollar bills were negative points, for example $5.00 bill = -500 points and 1 Nickel = -5 points.


During Greek Week at the University of Iowa, Greeks swarmed the Penny Wars table at every event, checking for pennies in their jars and sabotaging the other teams with silver coins and dollar bills. On the third and last day of Penny Wars, the containers were over-flowing with donations and MGC ended up having to provide more containers. After three days of collecting spare change and some friendly competition, Gamma Phi Beta and Phi Delta Theta won with a positive $147.34 while Zeta Tau Alpha, Delta Upsilon and Phi Gamma Delta lost with a -$192.32 and MGC was able to donate $1,538.96 to Circle of Sisterhood Foundation.



The MGC was thrilled to be able to support such a wonderful cause. Penny Wars has always been a successful event during Greek Week—nothing like a little friendly competition! Spare change to help create real change for women and girls around the world, made the event powerful. MGC looks forward to continuing to host this fundraiser in the years to come, and to continue to support the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation. One world, one sisterhood.


IMG_3680This week’s Campus Spotlight contributor is Kelsey F. Ricke. She is a sophomore at the University of Iowa pursuing a degree in Business Management with a certificate in International Business and minor in Spanish. She currently serves on the Multicultural Greek Council as the Vice President of Marketing. Kelsey enjoys traveling and experiencing new cultures and is a proud member of Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority Incorporated. 

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Spring Grants Announced!

PicMonkey CollageThanks to a successful academic year of fundraising efforts from our supporting schools, the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation can announce another roster of grant recipients. 

Please follow this blog for detailed information about each organization and the projects the money will support. A total of $20,000 was awarded during this round. 

Days for Girls International and GoodWeave will be two international organizations we will support this year. Both were awarded $5,000. 

College Mentors for Kids and Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis will be domestic non-profit organizations that will receive funding to support their youth programs. 

The Foundation uses grassroots campaigns and personal recommendations to find organizations with which to partner. We are looking for organizations that share our vision and that are providing programs or services congruent with our mission – to uplift girls and women from poverty and oppression through education. The next grant application deadline is September 1, 2013. For more information, please visit

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Update on The Trek: Announcing Collegian Participants!


From July 17th – 24th, 2013, representatives will travel on behalf of Circle of Sisterhood to West Africa to break ground on a school. These representatives must have the willingness to sacrifice time, amenities and comfort in exchange for a life changing experience, serving on behalf of millions of sorority women worldwide. Each participated in fundraising efforts within their respective organizations and schools.

Congratulations to our representatives:

Katie Andrews, University of Alabama, Alpha Delta Pi

Emily Christensen, University of Colorado, Delta Delta Delta

Danica Craig, Ball State University, Alpha Chi Omega,

Lynlee Jackson, Western Kentucky University, Chi Omega

Elana Katz, University of Connecticut, Pi Beta Phi

Erin Kelly, Georgia Institute of Technology, Alpha Chi Omega

Kristen Koniewicz, University of Illinois, Kappa Delta

Megan O’Brien, University of Delaware, Delta Gamma

Jasmine Rivera, Virginia Wesleyan College, Sigma Sigma Sigma

Paola Rivera, University of Missouri, Kappa Kappa Gamma

Riley Shipman, University of South Carolina, Kappa Kappa Gamma

Mary Kate Slone, University of Kentucky, Kappa Kappa Gamma

E. Sparling Wilson, Vanderbilt University, Kappa Delta

Two alumna members will be accompanying our students on The Trek. Ginny Carroll, Founder of the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation and a proud Alpha Xi Delta and Nicole Hughes an alumna member of Delta Delta Delta. We look forward to their accounts of the trip and will post updates regularly!

logoSorority women everywhere are leveraging their collective wisdom and influence to remove educational barriers for girls and women, uplifting them from poverty and oppression. Now, we’ll physically demonstrate this by building a school. YOU are making a difference.

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BIG News Out of Missouri!

ImageOn Tuesday, April 30, 2013, the University of Missouri Panhellenic Association and Circle of Sisterhood welcomed Ginny Carroll. At the event, the Panhellenic Association announced a $20,000 donation to Circle of Sisterhood and committed to building a school in an underdeveloped country.

To fundraise the remaining amount needed to build a school, Mizzou Panhellenic will host a different event each month. In August, during formal recruitment, Panhellenic will host a movie night showing Girl Rising. All the potential new members will also learn about the Circle in their morning meetings during recruitment.

In September, Panhellenic will host the first ever Mizzou Circle of Sisterhood 5k walk/run, where we will “Run for the Girls.” All proceeds will go towards fundraising efforts for the school. In October, chapters will host fundraising events with alumnae. Finally in November, multiple profit share nights at local businesses will take place. After a semester of fundraising, we hope to have all the money to complete the school. Fourteen Mizzou sorority women will be selected to travel to help build the school in June 2014.


Over the past semester, the University of Missouri Panhellenic Association adopted the Circle of Sisterhood as the Panhellenic philanthropy. At the beginning of the semester, the organization started hosting weekly meetings and all interested sorority women were invited to attend. At the first meeting, so many women attended to learn about Circle of Sisterhood that people had to sit on the floor. The following week, the meeting moved to a bigger classroom, but it was still not big enough, as even more sorority women came out to support the cause. Currently, the meetings are held in a lecture hall that can hold 80 people.  The Mizzou Panhellenic Community has welcomed Circle of Sisterhood with open arms.

The women attending the meetings became passionate about the cause. At each meeting, groups brainstormed ideas to create continued awareness around campus.  One idea was hosting weekly Half the Sky screenings in the month of April. Women from 16 different sororities attended the screenings. After April, over 100 Panhellenic women had seen Half the Sky and were aware of the abuse of women in underdeveloped countries. After each screening, thoughtful discussion followed, and women became even more passionate about the cause.

Next fall, Circle of Sisterhood will host general meetings every other week to educate sorority women about the Circle. Mizzou Panhellenic and Mizzou Circle of Sisterhood are thrilled to have the opportunity to build a school in an underdeveloped country and to help change the lives of many women.

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One Student’s Story

ImageMy Circle of Sisterhood story starts very much, in a selfish turn of events, with myself. As collegiate women, we face adversities of many kinds each day. And it is often true that the women who seem the strongest are facing the toughest battles behind the veil of what they want to be perceived as.

I was no exception.

I am a happy, intelligent woman, but I felt unfulfilled with myself. Instead turning to superficial outlets and struggling to find things made me feel good about my work. I loved my position as Panhellenic president and it helped me to grow in ways unimaginable. But looming was little sense of real purpose.

That all changed when I began working with the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation. My story is defined by this quote: “The Best Way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” After connecting with the organization’s founder, Ginny Carroll, and being able to see the lives her vision is touching I found what I had been looking for. A way to channel my unfulfilled feeling into fulfilling the lives of women who needed it more. And it is just that sentiment of women helping other women that I love about the Foundation. Instead of turning to a boyfriend for affirmation or other fleeting possessions, we can turn to the evidence of our hard work and late nights planning for a fundraiser, sending an underprivileged women to school and giving them the confidence to change their communities.


The second part of my story is less selfish however. And it really is proof that one woman, with one passion, can start a revolution of real change. Armed with my passion for the Circle of Sisterhood, I set out to empower other women at my university and within my Panhellenic to get involved. Soon I was starting and facilitating a Circle of Sisterhood committee comprised of women from all of our Panhellenic groups on campus. Through my craving to get others involved, and their hard work, the University of South Carolina has contributed over $5,000 in the past year to the Circle of Sisterhood.

Recently, I asked Ginny Carroll if every morning she wakes up thinking, “Wow look what I have built, MY work is changing the world.” And humbly she replied, no, WE are changing the world.

This blog was contributed by Chelsea Ostebo and adapted from remarks she gave during the Southeastern Panhellenic Conference this Spring. She is a senior at the University of South Carolina and a proud Gamma Phi Beta sister. Picture above is her and Ginny Carroll. 

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Campus Circles: University of Kansas


Univ_of_KansasDuring this past year, the University of Kansas Panhellenic Association has sought to establish a strong support system for the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation on our campus. Through events sponsored by individual chapters and the Panhellenic Council, such as donations based on percentage of sales nights at Kate Spade, cookie/bake sales and educational programs. Support and advocacy for the cause has grown tremendously at KU.

Univ_Kansas_2At the beginning of the school year, Sigma Kappa Sorority hosted an event called “Jayhawk Walk.” Sorority women from across the community participated. Panhellenic sisters walked to raise funds for the Foundation and to raise awareness about the challenges women face around the world and how we can help them.

Last fall, when the Half the Sky documentary aired on PBS, women from the chapters of Chi Omega and Sigma Kappa had a watch party together. They had a wonderful time bonding with one another and were deeply moved by the stories of the women highlighted in the documentary.

The Panhellenic community continued supporting the vision of the Circle of Sisterhood this spring by selling adorable and delicious cookies outside the homes of Kappa Delta, Sigma Kappa, and Kappa Kappa Gamma. The funds collected went toward the building of the new school in Senegal!

The Panhellenic will also be hosting an informational booth at their upcoming Panhellenic Picnic for potential new members. The booth seeks to inform our incoming freshmen of the mission of the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation and the importance of the Panhellenic community and the philanthropic spirit.

The University of Kansas Panhellenic Council is excited to continue the work of our chapters and our community. We know that everything we can do for the cause makes a difference and we are proud to be a Circle of Sisterhood campus!

Univ_KansasThis week’s Campus Spotlight contributor is Gretchen L. Beaver. Gretchen is currently a sophomore at the University of Kansas studying chemistry and biology. Before serving on Panhellenic as the Director of Philanthropy & Community Service, she was an officer in her sorority Sigma Kappa. Gretchen loves attending basketball games and cheering on her Jayhawks! She plans on entering medical school after completing her studies at KU.

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Grantee Spotlight: LOVE146

“Education and empowerment training can show girls that femininity does not entail docility, and can nurture assertiveness so that girls and women can stand up for themselves.” This quote might sound quite familiar for those of you who tuned into Half the Sky with us last fall.  Nicholas Kristof and Cheryl WuDunn passionately explained that education was the key to helping women and children overcome oppression around the globe. What you might not know, however, is that this quote is also one of the driving forces for one of our latest grant recipients, LOVE146.



LOVE146 is an organization whose mission is to “combat child trafficking and exploitation with the unexpected and restore survivors with excellence.” The group was originally founded in 2002, and has been working tirelessly to end child trafficking ever since.  They work to rescue victims of sex trafficking and help them reintegrate into society by providing them with safety, treatment, and access to education. Through prevention and aftercare efforts, LOVE146 is seeking to end child trafficking and modern slavery for good.


The $4,000 grant that we are awarding LOVE146 will allow five girls to take part in the Round Home Project. LOVE146’s website gives insight into what the girls who benefit from the grant will receive.


Round Home is located in the Phillipines and is “uniquely built and designed to facilitate the restoration and holistic health of every child entering its doors. A tree house is used for therapy sessions. A volleyball court is available to play on. There’s even a punching bag for children to work out their aggression. The physical structure of the Round Home is intended to promote reflectiveness, a sense of peace, freedom, dignity and self-esteem, as well as playfulness so that children can simply be children again.


The approach to running the home is attuned to the needs of the exploited and traumatized child, which include both the needs of ordinary children as well as children who have been wounded in many ways, lack hope, are broken, lack opportunities and self-worth. Therefore, the Round Home is characterized by efforts to keep the child safe and well provided for, instill hope, effect healing and restoration, promote growth and development, facilitate the release of potentials, and enable the child to come full circle, liberated from their traumas and sufferings, to realize their innate worth. The Round Home aims to be a safe base from which the girls can derive the strength and courage to later tackle the world outside.


We are thrilled to be working with LOVE146 and support them in their mission to abolish sex trafficking through their removal of educational barriers for these young women. To learn more about LOVE146 and the work that they do, or to check out their amazing photo stories, videos, and education, please check out their website at:

KaitlinKirkHeadshotThis blog was written by Kaitlin Kirk. Kaitlin is a volunteer with the Circle of Sisterhood, working primarily with the marketing committee. She is currently finishing her last semester of graduate school at Illinois State University in College Student Personnel Administration. She currently works for the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at Illinois State. Kaitlin is a proud member of Sigma Kappa Sorority.  



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