For years, Claire Koeppel has been methodically adding to her list of extracurricular activities. Now she’s broadening her resume by embracing Girl Rising as a screening captain.
Claire met with the principal of her school, The Nightingale-Bamford School, to request a homework-free night for any student who wanted to attend her screening. She then engendered help from The Director of Community Service at the school, Damaris Maclean. Damaris helped her promote the film while Claire’s grandparents purchased extra tickets so school staff could attend for free.
Of the young women featured in the film, Claire is most inspired by Suma from Nepal. Suma worked as a bonded servant (kamlari) until she found a path to education. Claire was never granted her homework-free night and she’s not upset about that. She included this statement in an email to her faculty: “The mission of Nightingale is to ‘educate the minds and hearts of its students in a challenging, vibrant community that prizes academic excellence. This is done in a demanding academic environment in which their teachers inspire them to love learning and embrace curiosity, creativity, and hard work.’ In the film, Girl Rising, we will see how girls from around the world believe in this same kind of mission statement for themselves and find ways to make it happen. We are very lucky to have a Nightingale education given to us so easily.”
Coincidentally, actress and Girl Rising narrator Kerry Washington is scheduled to speak at Nightingale’s commencement in June! Claire seems to have a faculty for finding the right projects to support.