Thursday, April 15, 2010

Up Start OU Group Needs Votes To Win Pepsi Grant

A new student group at Ohio University is trying to change the lives of Appalachian girls, and needs your help to do it.

Future Women of Appalachia (FWA), a group founded earlier this year, is in the running to win a $5000 grant from Pepsi through , a website that Pepsi set up to help fund community service projects. A total of 1.3 million dollars will be awarded each month to applicants.

You can bet that FWA has plans for the money. If it wins, the group wants to set up three $500 scholarships that will, provide select girls from Athens County with back-to-school haircuts, purchase 300 stuffed animals for shelters, create 200 empowerment kits, finance a campus visit program, and give shopping sprees to 5 local girls.

All the efforts are in line with the group’s mission: to empower girls from Appalachian Ohio, to help them see that they can escape from generational poverty, and to enable them to realize that a college education is a possible goal to attain.

The group’s desire to encourage girls from Appalachian Ohio likely comes from its founders’ experiences. Brittany Wolverton and Shea Daniels came together to start FWA earlier this year, and both are Appalachian Scholars at Ohio University. The scholarship is awarded to high-achieving youth from Appalachian Ohio counties.

Those interested in voting for FWA can visit to give their support. Voting can be done via Facebook, e-mail, or by creating a Pepsi account on the website, of course there is a limit of one vote per day for each visitor.

To be awarded funding, FWA must place in the top ten of its category at the end of April. The group was in 32nd place as of Tuesday.

From now until the end of the academic year, the group hopes to host a lock-in at Trimble elementary and start a campus visit program through a partnership with Girl Power, another student group.

Future Women of Appalachia meets on Wednesdays from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Women’s Center, located on the fourth floor of Baker Center at Ohio University. Other inquiries, e-mail may be sent to