FEB 1, 2021
The Authors of Impact Tell Us How They Found Their North Star
Many of us want to make an impact in the world, but it can be overwhelming to know where to start. We spoke to the founders of She’s the First, and authors of the recently released book, Impact, about finding how you can make a difference.
Putting girls first—that’s what Tammy Tibbets and Christen Brandt, founders of She’s the First, are all about. The nonprofit organization, founded in 2009 here in New York City, aims to provide education and respect to girls around the world. On top of that, they just came out with their first book, Impact, and we had the opportunity to attend their amazing virtual book launch! We talked to the duo to dive deeper into where they draw inspiration from, and how they want to help others discover the issues they’re most passionate about, aka their “North Star”.
Invitation for Christen Brandt and Tammy Tibbetts’ virtual launch for their book Impact
We love what you're doing at She's The First! What inspired you to start the organization?
We both recognized the power that education played in our own lives as first-generation college students, and had strong female figures in our lives, who created a support system for us to achieve our dreams. Every girl deserves that same chance to choose her own future.
YOU'VE MADE A HUGE IMPACT IN THE LIVES OF SO MANY GIRLS; HOW HAS FOUNDING SHE'S THE FIRST IMPACTED YOUR OWN LIVES?
She’s the First has taught us so much about resilience and what it means to be brave. We’ve also learned what is possible when small groups of committed people come together. Significant change happens with the smallest steps. It’s been so inspiring and motivating to see examples of that constantly.
Brandt and Tibbetts founded She’s the First to educate and empower girls around the world.
Brandt and Tibbetts with their debut book
What has been your favorite part of your journey with She's The First?
My favorite part has been connecting with such diverse people who share a common passion for championing girls’ globally, and of course, meeting the girls themselves. At She’s the First, we strongly believe in centering girls’ voices—they already know what they need. We just have to listen. I’ve had the honor of meeting some of the most extraordinary girls in the world!
In Impact, you talk about "finding your North Star", what was your experience like finding your own North Star?
Anyone can identify their North Star by making time to reflect on the experiences that have shaped who they are today, and observing what issues fire them up when they’re reading or listening to the news. Draw connections between those issues and your life experiences. Where those overlap, you are most likely to find your North Star, which is your vision for the world you want to live in.
What initially inspired you to write Impact?
After a decade of leading social change, we were asked time and again: How can I make a difference? How can I support? But the truth is, the best person to answer that question is you! Before any organization can plug you into its work, it’s important to know what you have to give and want to give. Impact guides you in figuring that out, so you can more effectively match what you have to offer with what the world, or your community, needs.
A copy of Impact at the VEERAH NYC studio alongside MULAN in plum orchid and signature coral orchid
What's the most surprising thing you learned while writing your book?
Probably that writing a book is much harder than it looks. Next time you walk into a bookstore, think about that—how with each book you pick up, you are holding someone’s dream, which just happens to be squeezed in between two covers and those four corners!
What was your greatest challenge while writing Impact?
Writing a book takes a lot of time, and we already have very demanding day jobs! We had to be disciplined about setting deadlines and making time to write and edit on the weekends.
What has been the most rewarding part of writing Impact?
Seeing our readers share the book on social media and hearing testimonials about the Impact Plans they are creating is so rewarding! We look forward to more of those conversations in 2021. Impact is the perfect book to experience with others in a book club, and we have reading guides and downloadable workbooks you can use on our website, planyourimpact.com.
Mika and Chelsea of team veerah had the pleasure of attending the virtual book launch, and even got their own copies of Impact!
Tibbets and Brandt are making a difference in the lives of so many girls, and they continue helping others to find their passions, too. They’re truly being the change they want to see in the world! At VEERAH, we know how fortunate we’ve been to have access to education, and it is this gratitude that makes supporting She’s the First such a fitting partnership, and continuously inspires us to help cultivate the next generations of #VEERAHwarriors. As part of our 1-10-100 Battle Plan, every 100 customer feedback surveys VEERAH receives, VEERAH sponsors a one-year scholarship for a She’s The First scholar.
Want to find your North Star? Be sure to get your copy of Impact. You can also check out the highlights of She's The First’s latest annual report here.