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One Student’s Story

ImageMy Circle of Sisterhood story starts very much, in a selfish turn of events, with myself. As collegiate women, we face adversities of many kinds each day. And it is often true that the women who seem the strongest are facing the toughest battles behind the veil of what they want to be perceived as.

I was no exception.

I am a happy, intelligent woman, but I felt unfulfilled with myself. Instead turning to superficial outlets and struggling to find things made me feel good about my work. I loved my position as Panhellenic president and it helped me to grow in ways unimaginable. But looming was little sense of real purpose.

That all changed when I began working with the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation. My story is defined by this quote: “The Best Way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” After connecting with the organization’s founder, Ginny Carroll, and being able to see the lives her vision is touching I found what I had been looking for. A way to channel my unfulfilled feeling into fulfilling the lives of women who needed it more. And it is just that sentiment of women helping other women that I love about the Foundation. Instead of turning to a boyfriend for affirmation or other fleeting possessions, we can turn to the evidence of our hard work and late nights planning for a fundraiser, sending an underprivileged women to school and giving them the confidence to change their communities.

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The second part of my story is less selfish however. And it really is proof that one woman, with one passion, can start a revolution of real change. Armed with my passion for the Circle of Sisterhood, I set out to empower other women at my university and within my Panhellenic to get involved. Soon I was starting and facilitating a Circle of Sisterhood committee comprised of women from all of our Panhellenic groups on campus. Through my craving to get others involved, and their hard work, the University of South Carolina has contributed over $5,000 in the past year to the Circle of Sisterhood.

Recently, I asked Ginny Carroll if every morning she wakes up thinking, “Wow look what I have built, MY work is changing the world.” And humbly she replied, no, WE are changing the world.

This blog was contributed by Chelsea Ostebo and adapted from remarks she gave during the Southeastern Panhellenic Conference this Spring. She is a senior at the University of South Carolina and a proud Gamma Phi Beta sister. Picture above is her and Ginny Carroll. 

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