UChic founder Christie Garton (middle) and ambassadors Kiara Lewis (l) and Gracie Schram (r).
It’s no secret that here at UChic our mission is to help young women and girls succeed in whatever they put their minds to, and we believe big expenses should never stand in the way of big dreams.
But college tuition is soaring, parents’ expendable income is limited, and teens are strapped for cash – meaning valuable out-of-classroom experiences are often the first to go. While we’ve anecdotally heard how difficult it is for young women to find scholarship opportunities to fund these experiences from the young women we work with at UChic, research around the issue was surprisingly lacking.
Knowing we needed to truly understand the problem before we began to solve it, we surveyed 341 young women, ages 18 – 29, hailing from all regions of the U.S. with varying levels of education. What we found was distressing, but not surprising. And, our suspicions were confirmed: a large majority of respondents confirmed they lacked easy access to funding for the valuable experiences they desired.
More than 86 percent of respondents consider extracurricular activities as important to their future career and would like to have access to these opportunities. However, nearly 56 percent of respondents said that while they wanted to participate in an extracurricular activity (i.e., travel to a conference, study abroad, etc.) or take an unpaid or low-paying internship, they could not afford to do so.
When asked how difficult it is to find funding for extracurricular activities, while 47 percent of respondents answered, “It’s challenging, but not impossible,” forty-four percent selected that they either did not know where to look or have looked and were unable to find any funding resources. That is a significant number suggesting that the hunt for scholarships does not come easy.
Through our research, it became clear that it’s time for a change – and we’re going to make it happen. Knowing that experiences can change lives, on September 22, we launched our first product – the “Gracie” computer case – as part of a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Our Indiegogo campaign goal is to raise $27,000 to help fund the production of the Gracie case while funding the dreams of more than 10 young women with up to $1,000 in scholarship funding.
And we are just getting started. As a for-profit company, we have made a long term commitment to funding the dreams of up to 1,000 young women nationwide through each new product release. Please help us reach our audacious goal to fulfill the dreams of young women in the U.S. by supporting our #1000Dreams campaign on Indiegogo today!