Since its beginning in 2015, Together to Empower has developed projects and organized events to support girls and women in underdeveloped areas and beyond. From local sales to global partnerships, we have been able to spread our mission around the world! 
The icon to the right of the project name indicates the main component of our mission  to which it supports.

Together for Guisela
On the left is a picture of Guisela, a sixth grade student at Safe Passage who we first sponsored.

On the bottom are pictures from our first bake sale and event, "The Popcorn Project." 

(August 3, 2015 - Present)

Together to Empower's first event was "The Popcorn Project". It all began when founder, Michelle Qin, learned about the shocking, impoverished conditions that girls living in Guatemala's largest dump city (La Antigua) dealt with. Michelle and Sophia got in contact with their friend who knew a girl there named Guisela, and partnered with an organization named Safe Passage to sponsor Guisela's education. Today, Together to Empower is proud to continue helping Guisela and other girls actively enroll in school and receive their education in La Antigua.

What We Have Done
  • Guisela has over 3 years of education at Safe Passage's programs
  • Provided supported to all 550 students at Safe Passage

  • The Popcorn Project (rolling) - local bake sales selling a unique variety of popcorn 
  • Panda Express partnership (December 26, 2016)
  • Halloween Bake Sale (October 31, 2016)
  • International Day at Dos Pueblos High School (April 1, 2016)
  • Additional Bake Sales (rolling)

Together for Uganda
On the left is a picture of a Ugandan women wearing the handmade bead bracelets she made out of recycled paper.

On the bottom is a picture and flyer from our Valentine's Day fundraiser.

(March 15, 2016 - May 31, 2016) & (Dec 2016 - Present)

We partnered with an organization named BeadforLife to support women's enrollment in poverty eradication programs in Africa, such as entrepreneurial trainings. To accomplish this, we sell handmade bead jewlery on behalf of Ugandan women. The funds not only help the women enroll in schools, but it also helps them provide for their families and community, as they live in impoverished conditions.

What We Have Done
  • Provide several women their entire tution for Street Business School, helping each women start their own businesses which in turn has supported more than 8,000 family members living in extreme poverty (2018)
  • Provide 1 woman her entire tuition for Street Business School (2017)
  • Enable 3 women to attend 1 month of Street Business School ​(2016)

  • ​Valentine's Day Fundraiser (February 8-14, 2017)
  • Montecito Bank & Trust promotion event (entire month of February 2018, December 2018)
  • Int'l Women's Day event (March 8, 2016)
  • International Day at Dos Pueblos High School (April 1, 2016)
  • Maravilla promotion event (Spring 2018)
  • Local fundraisers (rolling)
Coding Together
(July 5-14, 2017) & (July 9-13, 2018)

Campers will learn fundamental coding skills with MIT’s programming tool Scratch, 3D computer modeling with TinkerCad, and computing logic with CS Unplugged activities. Throughout the program, students will explore career opportunities in STEM with tech companies. At the end of the program, students will work individually or in small groups with mentors to produce innovative applications to solve social or environmental issues.

  • Computer Science Summer Program for Elementary, Middle and High School Girls
  • The program is designed for students going into grades 5 - 11. We encourage participants from various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds to register.
  • We provide everything for the program, including computers for creating social-impact projects, and snacks.
  • Cost of Participation: $50. Scholarships are available, so don't let financial hardships deter you from applying!​
"What is a Woman?" Book Publication
(August 2017 - Present)

  • Collected artwork from 27 countries on people's interpretations of what it means to be a woman 
  • Project was entirely open to the public; we received work made by local elementary school students to internationally reknowned artists

  • Sold out 100 copies internationally via our online store (currently in the process of reprinting) 
  • Profits raised go towards Together to Empower's initiatives 
  • Empowered the beauty and diversity in the female image and identity

Review by Woody Woodburn, Ventura County Star:
            "What a book! That is my reaction after perusing through “What Is A Woman?” by Together To Empower.
            From the front cover featuring the vibrant painting titled “Crescendo” by Cheryl Braganza to the back cover with her joyous-and-powerful painting “Women of the World Unite”, the pages between are meant to be viewed and savored as well as read.
            Indeed, the combination of emotional poetry and short essays with amazing artwork makes “What Is A Woman?” special. It is like having an art museum’s special exhibit right at your fingertips.
            To be sure, the artwork is captivating: color paintings to black-and-white photos, realism to abstract. Furthermore, the art—and writing, too—is arranged with deep thought, thus affording a powerful effect. For example, Lea Basile-Lazarus’s “The Silent Voice” showing a white silhouette of a woman with her fist raised in a crowd appears beside Jennifer Casselberry’s vivid portrait titled “Protest” of a solo woman with her arm also lifted high.
            Another taste: Photographs of sculptures titled “Lotus” and “Tree” by Francine Kirsch, featuring two woman in yoga poses, appear next to the portrait “Dancer: Strong is the New Pretty” by Kate T. Parker.
            Poetry highlights this strength-and-beauty theme on other pages, such as a work from Noël Russel that begins, “I am here because my mother dreamed that I could be” and, after describing an immigrant parent’s difficult life, concludes: “I am here because of a dreamer.”
            It is difficult to imagine this project was thought up by, compiled by, and brought to life by young women who are still in high school. They, and this project supporting their non-profit organization Together To Empower, is evidence the future is already in good hands today. I urge you to buy this book – better yet, buy two copies and give one as a gift of friendship to someone you know.
            The real gift of this book is in showing what it means to be a female an in today’s world, around the world. These pages teach us—through the words and paintbrushes, sculptures and camera lenses, eyes and voices of empowered girls in elementary school through women of international fame—about true beauty, true strength, true feminism.
            If you are a girl or woman—or if you are a man or boy with a sister or daughter, wife or mother, niece or female friend—this book is for you.
            “What Is A Woman?” provides some uplifting answers."​
Cover of the book, created by world reknowned artist Cheryl Braganza. 

Flyer that we created and used throughout outreach. 

Together for Albania
(August 2018 - Present)

We partnered with the Association of Albanian Girls and Women (AAGW) to empower former victims of trafficking in Albania by helping to provide job training, handicraft production programs, and leadership experiences. 

Why this Matters:
According to AAGW, there are 10,000+ Albanian girls and women "who are currently or who formerly have been victims of illegal trafficking for the purpose of enforced prostitution, one third of whome are younger than eighteen." 

What We Have Done:
  • ​Organized fundraisers to raise funds and support empowerment programs for Albanian girls and women (e.g. Winter Bake Sale 2019 - raised around $500)
  • Create an online booklet of artwork made by Albanian girls and women to show how strong and talented the people who have experienced human trafficking are (in-process)
  • Sell handmade bead jewlery and crafts on behalf of Albanian girls and women (in-process) 

Together with Girls Inc.
(March 10, 2017)

We partnered with Girls Inc. to host a STEM & Girl Empowerment workshop for local elementary school girls in Santa Barbara. Together to Empower club members (some of whom are students in the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy, DPEA) hosted 3 different workshops at the event: STEM, Girl Empowerment, and Inspiration.

In the STEM workshop, students from the DPEA shared the projects they designed and created, including the light sculpture and the kinetic sculpture. President and Founder Sophia Qin taught the girls how to make their own "kinetic sculpture" by making pinwheels - featuring the main components and basic designing aspects of the sculpture.   

In the Girl Empowerment workshop, Together to Empower club members educated the girls about universal gender steoreotype impacts, the importance of girls to pursue their dreams with confidence, and what we, as high schoolers, do to make our contribution in the world.

In the Outreach workshop, we inspired the girls that they have the potential to make a difference in the world, no matter differences in age or gender. We learned about personal experiences of girls living in underdeveloped countries who experience gender inequalities. To top it all off, we wrote letters to Guisela, a girl whom Together to Empower supports in La Antigua, Guatemala. 
Together for Maasai
(January 1, 2016 - June 1, 2016)

Maasai Girls Education Fund is an organization that aims to educate Maasai women by providing educational workshops and academic scholarships to improve the health, literacy, and economic well-being of Masaai women. We have sponsored one of the girls, named Emily, participating in an MGEF program. Refusing to undergo FGM, Emily was exiled from her family, but has found the support from MGEF to pursue her academic studdies.

What We Have Done
  • Sponsored and supported Emily, a girl participating in an MGEF program

  • Banquet hosted by Vancouver Chapter (March 1, 2016)
On the left is a picture of Emily, a girl whom we sponsored.

Together for Orchid
(January 1, 2016 - June 1, 2016)

The Orchid Project executes programs in various African nations to end the procedure of female genital mutilation through a non-directive, human rights led education approach.

What We Have Done
  • Supported the abolishment of the practice of FGM

  • Krispe Kreme fundraiser (May 1, 2016)

On top: Picture courtesy of The Orchid Project

On left: The Krispe Kreme fundraiser (we sold out on all those boxes of donuts!)

Together for Africa
(January 1, 2016 - June 1, 2016)

Solar Sisters aims to empower women economically in local African communities by creating sustainable businesses to provide entrepreneurship opportunities for women.

What We Have Done
  • Helped Solar Sisters mentor, train, and support women who are bringing clean energy to their communities.
  • Banquet hosted by Vancouver Chapter (March 1, 2016)
Picture courtesy of Solar Sisters

Together for Mali
(January 1, 2016 - June 1, 2016)

Medicine for Mali is an organization that provides programs to ameliorate the standard of health, economics, and education of women and children in Mali. We have contributed to two of Medicine For Mali's programs regarding micro-finance loans and public health.

What We Have Done
  • We have endorsed animal husbandry initiatives and health training sessions that increase awareness about ways to prevent childhood deaths

  • Banquet hosted by Vancouver Chapter (March 1, 2016)
  • Krispe Kreme fundraiser (May 1, 2016)

Picture above shows a woman and her child at Medicine for Mali.

Together for Girl Rising
June 1, 2016

Together to Empower clubs spent the last few meetings of the school year (2015-16) watching the documentary, "Girl Rising". It features moving, personal scenes and a powerful message. We hope to plan a larger event to share this beautiful documentary with the community. 

What We Have Done
  • Shared our cause and spread awareness of the issues girls face in underdeveloped countries to club members and school community

  • Club Meeting (June 1, 2016)

Video above is a trailer to the documentary, Girl Rising.