iGEM Hosts Campus Day for Young Refugee Students

March 12, 2015

Group of studentsOn November 22, 2014, International Gender Equality Movement (iGEM) hosted a Campus Day for high school girls from GirlForward and RefugeeOne, two Chicago-based organizations that assist refugees, in order to teach the girls about college and why they should apply. iGEM is a new Buffett-affiliated student group, associated with the UN Foundation's Girl Up campaign, that promotes the education, leadership, and well-being of girls both in the Evanston community and in developing countries around the world.

The Campus Day began with a Northwestern campus tour including visiting a dorm room, classrooms, and common campus sites. The girls then participated in interactive activities that introduced them to the basics of college, from considering location and size, to thinking about interviews and financial aid. These activities, led by iGEM club members, encouraged thought and conversation about the fundamentals of applying to and attending college.

Afterwards, the GirlForward and RefugeeOne girls had the opportunity to learn more about specific Northwestern programs. Professor Wendi Gardner of the Psychology department spoke on choosing a college major, what to expect from college courses, and her specialty of social psychology. Then, Significant Others, Northwestern’s premier all-female a cappella group, sang for the girls and answered questions about extracurricular opportunities in college. These presentations not only provided insight into academic and extracurricular endeavors at Northwestern but also presented strong female role models at the university level.

Finally, the girls reflected on what college means to them. Answers ranged from “fun because you create your own schedule” to “a new beginning.” One girl aptly summed up the day’s purpose by stating “college is hope for a better future.”

Migration, Undergraduate Students