When there were technical difficulties with the video projector at her campus screening, Lisa Hawkins didn’t panic. She hewed to the hosting formula of her predecessors: She’d heard 10x10's Derek Knowles talk about the film during a sneak preview at the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, where Lisa serves as a student staff member. She’d helped Clifford Potter, who organized a screening of Girl Rising at the Eccles Center in Park City, with promotion and outreach. She’d witnessed Director Richard Robbins answer questions at a viewing. Lisa had become a purveyor of Girl Rising facts and was, therefore, able to moderate her own Q&A segment while the projector was being fixed.
More than 100 attendees attended her screening and more than 800 books- ranging from Shakespeare to “Harry Potter”- were submitted for donation to the Salt Lake City YWCA. Attendees who donated five books were given free entry to the theatre. Lisa even arranged for a local water company, People Water, to donate water bottles to the event. Several people asked how they could bring Girl Rising to their communities and more than $500 was raised for the 10x10 Fund.
Organizing her Girl Rising screening prepared Lisa, a college junior at the time, for her summer trip to India where she would volunteer with Maitri. Maitri is a non-governmental organization that works to provide citizenship rights to India’s most vulnerable populations, including women, slum children, migrant workers, and the elderly. "It was great to work for Girl Rising, a cause I believe in. Hopefully I’ll be able to work for causes I believe in all summer,“ she said before leaving for her trip.
When she returned from her trip, she told us about her favorite memory from teaching abroad: The children came every day, though it wasn’t required, because they wanted an education. These children, the majority of them girls, came from surrounding slums and wanted to learn the many things their government schools didn’t have the resources to teach. I often thought of Girl Rising and the freedom those girls found in education. The slum kids of New Delhi wanted that same freedom. Movements like Girl Rising and projects like Maitri’s tutorial center are crucial to global progress and have the potential to truly improve the living standard of those who finally get to claim their right to education. I hope to always work with movements like this, and I hope others will offer their support as well.