What do you get when you bring music, social media and philanthropy together?
If you were at Gramercy Theater on June 10, you saw firsthand how the three could work together. She's the First, a non-profit promoting girls' education in developing countries, teamed up with Internet Week New York again for its second annual Girls Who Rock benefit concert on Friday.
With a roster of amazing female talent including "Too Little Too Late" singer JoJo, reggaeton pop duo Nina Sky and up-and-coming songstresses like Eddy, Nikki Jean and KimberlyNichole, this was an event that could not be missed. While last year's show at Santos Party Haus raised enough money to sponsor three girls to go to school, co-founders Tammy Tibbetts and Cynthia Hellen wanted to go the distance and garner enough funds to sponsor 42 girls from the Arlington Academy of Hope in Uganda -- a feat that would cost $20,000.
And with one already under their belt and more planning time, Tibbetts was confident that the goal could be reached. "I wouldn't imagine it a year ago, but we had so much time to plan [for this show]," said Tibbetts, who is also founder and president of She's the First. "Last year we had the idea for 'Girls Who Rock' two months and two days of it actually happening. And now She's the First as an organization has had a whole year of growth in all that time, too. And we've grown our volunteer base and our social media size to really get the word out."
Since the show was taking place during Internet Week, She's the First made sure to incorporate as much tech and web elements including a Ustream broadcast, live Twitter board that continually refreshed throughout the night and even a special guest -- Data the Robot and its creator, electrical engineer Heather Knight.
With the hundreds turning up to show their support, John Wanda, co-founder of the Arlington Academy of Hope, was overwhelmed by people's enthusiasm to help his school.
"I feel wonderful, of course," Wanda said. "I think it's a great opportunity for the girls in Uganda. It's amazing that so many people are coming together like this to support. I feel great about it, but I know the kids in Uganda are going to feel extremely excited."
And he wasn't the only other one who was excited to be at Gramercy that night. JoJo, who has been a big supporter of She's the First from the start, was privileged to be performing at the event.
"I feel honored to be part of a cause and organization that is growing," JoJo, who debuted her new single, "Jumping Trains", that night. "And I just feel really lucky to be a part of its inception and seen how it's grown."
Nina Sky, who joined the lineup about a week before show time, hopped onboard after the organizations invited the twin singers via Twitter. "A lot of people reach out to us on Twitter," singer Nicole Albino said. "But after that we look into it more. So after that we went to the site and read about it. And then we saw the proceeds go to She's the First, which takes the funds to send girls to college, which is super dope. So we had to do it."
If you weren't able to make to this year's show, you can catch Girls Who Rock next year. But if you want to find out more about She's the First or find out how you can help out, visit shesthefirst.org.