TWB A&M & "Rise"

On April 10-11, 2017, The Women’s Bakery Texas A&M hosted our first event on campus, “Rise.”

The Women’s Bakery Texas A&M is the first campus chapter for The Women’s Bakery. Dedicated to educating students about women’s empowerment, The Women’s Bakery Texas A&M is made up of 50 students with a passion for social enterprise and change.

Over the past semester, our organization has been working tirelessly to host a program that would have wide impact on our university. I am happy to report that we accomplished and exceeded our expectations.

On the first night of “Rise,” we screened the movie “Girl Rising,” a documentary which details the lives of nine girls in developing countries and their quest for an education. 

The next evening, we facilitated open dialogue with the same attendees. The conversation was very interesting because everyone had been touched in some way by the stories of the girls in the film. Then, we heard from speakers over a wide range of topics.

The Women’s Bakery’s very own Heather Newell spoke about TWB and ways that we could get involved. Janet Marcantonio, TWBAM’s faculty advisor, spoke on her time with the Peace Corps. Finally, Dr. Henry Musoma, of the Mays Business School at Texas A&M, spoke about the influential women in his life and the way that women positively impact society today.

At one point in his presentation, Dr. Musoma asked his daughter to come up to the front. We were excited to listen to what she had to say, as she had attended the film screening the evening before. When asked about how the film impacted her life, Dr. Musoma’s 11-year-old daughter told our audience that it “changed her life.” She went on to speak about the privilege that we have as university students, and how we need to appreciate what we have been given.

As a campus engagement officer of TWBAM, I can confidently say that we accomplished our mission. We were able to touch the lives of several community members, including an eleven-year-old girl, and inspire them to make a difference in the world around us. I’ve seen the impact that The Women’s Bakery has had in the last two semesters at Texas A&M. Our membership continues to grow as people hear the message and mission of this organization.

At Texas A&M University, we value service in every aspect of what we do. It is not a surprise that TWBAM has been well received given the nature of the organization. What has been a surprise however, is seeing the life change that has taken place in people who have heard our message. I have had the opportunity to personally witness student’s eyes light up when they hear about the wonderful things that The Women’s Bakery is able to do in Rwanda and Tanzania.

I am proud to be involved with an organization that is truly changing the world. With one major event in the books, I cannot wait to see where TWBAM goes in the future.

About the Author: Ashlie James is a junior, agriculture communications and journalism major from The Woodlands, TX. She is also a Campus Engagement Officer for The Women’s Bakery Texas A&M.