Conant’s RISE initiates discussion about social issues

“We are equals,” Jasmin Mundi, ‘21, stated. “The rest of the world can’t progress if there is a gap between men and women.”

With this message, Conant sophomores Mundi, Sanjana Rajesh, Arina Shah, Kaycie Bilicki, Ellie Ferris, Yami Cortez, Alexa Demos, and Jessica States have started a club to spread awareness about social problems and promote viewing each other with an open mind.

RISE (Reaching Individuals by Supporting Every girl), intends to create a positive difference by spreading kindness and helping people think beyond stereotypes.

“It’s about education, women’s issues, and what’s happening in the world. It’s also an open space where we can have a discussion about the issues that I really don’t hear talked about in school much, like body image, confidence, and even heavier topics like sexual assault,” Rajesh said.

The founders of RISE hope to reach out to everybody, not just girls, and create a positive difference.

“I think that people are censoring themselves so then not everyone is aware of what’s actually going on,” Mundi said.

At every meeting, the club follows a specific agenda. “We usually start out with a conversation. We start with a word as a topic and everyone goes around and talks. We discuss what we want to do with the club,” Bilicki said.

RISE also plans to fundraise for two organizations. Girl Forward is the local organization they are funding this year. “Girl Forward is Chicago-based. We decided to do Girl Forward because it helps out girls who come here as refugees, and we want to support them so they’re able to find everyday things and get an education,” Ferris said.

The global organization they are funding is Manthan School for Disabled Girls, a school in Gujarat. “It’s a school in India that houses disabled girls, and a lot of girls that have been shunned for being disabled. We’re currently trying to fundraise for autistic equipment for the school,” Shah said.

RISE is not the only club of its kind. “There is a club at Barrington [High School] called Girl Effect. And we thought it was really cool to start a club about girls at Conant,” Shah said.

Rajesh further explained, “Schaumburg [High School] also has a club like this called Girl Up and we thought it was quite interesting.” All three clubs are similar in their purposes to inspire women locally and globally.

The founders of RISE hope to empower individuals and make a positive difference in society. “We are here to break the stereotypes,” Rajesh said.

Futo Wada | Conant Crier

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