Breaking News
  • August 299/9/23 - Homecoming Dance!
  • February 12/2/23 Kingsball Rally
  • February 12/1/23 Black History Month!
  • November 29Last day of school before Winter Break: Thursday, Dec. 22
  • November 29Semester one finals Tuesday, Dec. 20 - Thursday, Dec. 22
  • October 2711/04/22 Blood Drive
  • October 1110/07/22 RCHS wins rivalry football game against EHS! 21-6
  • October 1110/12/22 Sophomore PSAT
  • October 1110/21/22 Cougarettes Game!
  • October 11Oct. 19 and 20 Cougarettes cheer clinics
The Student News Site of Rancho Cucamonga High School

The Cat's Eye

The Cat's Eye

The Cat's Eye

GEM Club: Fighting for girls’ education globally

Cathryn Rutherig
GEM co-publicist Casey Anglee providing the presentation for the recent meeting.

Girls’ Education Matters, also known as GEM, is a club at Rancho Cucamonga High School that encourages women’s education and strives to make learning a more comfortable experience.

“The club’s purpose is to fight for the right for women’s education all over the globe,”  junior and co-publicist of GEM, Casey Anglee, said. 

One of GEM Club’s posters posted on the whiteboard at a meeting. (Cathryn Rutherig)

The club aims to achieve its goal by fundraising to create a safe school environment. Any money raised will go to charities assisting women in their education and making schools more accessible for all students. 

“We want to support girls in rural areas because they don’t have enough access to education,” junior and vice-president of GEM, Sanjana Kolluru, said.

Past fundraisers the club has held on campus include one on Valentine’s Day, where the club sold handmade earrings, bracelets, crochet heart pins, and crochet roses to raise awareness for girls in Ethiopia, as well as buying supplies to support girls’ education in Ethiopia.

According to the club’s Instagram page, they had a supply drive from Oct. 21 to Nov. 3, 2023, for the Entoto Foundation to help support disadvantaged women in Ethiopia, looking for items such as clothing, shoes, sweaters, diapers, children’s books, vitamins, lotions, deodorant, USB drives, candies, and school supplies.

Another poster hung at a meeting with an inspirational quote on it. (Cathryn Rutherig)

Another past club partner was Simply Plantiful Skin, a skincare brand dedicated to crafting 100% organic, plant-based skincare. The brand donated 15% of its proceeds to GEM club from Dec. 16, 2023, to Jan. 31, 2024. 

The club has also partnered with MOON Club, another club at RCHS, to sell origami in the past.

“We have been doing fundraising for girls in Ethiopia mainly because the president is Ethiopian,” Kolluru said. “We plan to expand to other countries in the future, like India.”

Deborah Shiferaw, junior and GEM club president, moved from Ethiopia to California during her freshman year. She wanted to create GEM because she felt disconnected from her community back in Ethiopia. 

“Moving from Ethiopia to the US during my freshman year left me feeling a bit lost,” Shiferaw said. “But it also ignited a passion in me; a passion for contributing to my community, especially to girls in rural areas.”

She did volunteer work in the past and wanted to see if there was any way to help her home country from the States. 

“I distributed stuff like menstrual products and sanitary wipes,” Shiferaw said. “It was a lot harder to access because they were imported.”

Another poster hung at a meeting about Women’s History Month. (Cathryn Rutherig)

Shiferaw was inspired to fundraise for girls in Ethiopia because her cousin had a fundraiser for girls in East Africa. 

“I wanted to start something similar,” Shiferaw said. “So all of my sophomore year I just researched specific girls and specific organizations in Ethiopia, organizations here that we could work with. I found some really good partners. And so, with a few of my other friends, we started GEM!”

By joining this club, students can expect to learn a lot about different influential events in women’s history, as well as promoting their fundraising efforts by making posters. 

“I really love being a part of a community,” junior and co-publicist of GEM, Sydne’ Vickers, said. “I like being able to uplift a community that I’m a part of and enjoy.”

The officers make PowerPoint presentations on various topics, such as intersectional feminism, menstruation, body image, influential women, women’s history, and more.

“I did a presentation on intersectional feminism and loved it, it’s such an important topic,” junior and GEM club event-coordinator, Caroline Quanstrom, said. “Intersectional feminism is the idea that women of all races, religions, ages, etc. deserve equal rights, which is really the meaning of the club.”

In addition, the club offers community service hours for participating in activities. The officers strive to create a community and safe space for their members.

“One of our board members, the lovely Caroline Quanstrom, held a meeting about women in horror and Halloween!” Anglee said. “It was a very fun experience, we also had a potluck while watching Corpse Bride.”

GEM club’s secretary and junior, Zuri Brooks, shared her memories from the potluck as a Halloween celebration.

“Before finals last semester, all of our club members and execs got together and did a potluck,” Brooks said. “Everyone brought food from a part of their culture and we all watched a movie.”

The officers preface that, contrary to common belief, GEM is not a women-only club. Anyone is allowed to join and learn. 

“This club isn’t exclusive,” Vickers said. “It’s inclusive.”

On Friday, March 15, GEM hosted a collaborative meeting with RCHS clubs YGAC (Youth Global Awareness Club), SNHS (Spanish National Honors Society), Pinoy ATBP (Pinoy At Iba Pa), and RCHS Drama as an opportunity for students to learn more about each club and the young women part of these clubs in honor of Women’s History Month.

Future events students can look forward to from this club are Women’s History Promos and a list of organizations the club is working with to fundraise for girls in Ethiopia and India for sanitary products such as undergarments, menstruation, and more. 

The club has a GoFundMe on their Instagram profile fundraising for girls’ education globally. Their goal is $2,000 and have currently reached 41% of their goal. 

GEM Club meets every other Friday from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. in Q103. Students can follow GEM Club on Instagram @rchs.gem and follow their Remind @rchsgem.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Cathryn Rutherig
Cathryn Rutherig, Staff Reporter

Cathryn Rutherig is a junior at RCHS, and this is her first year in journalism. She hasn’t had any prior experience in journalism, and she hopes to continue next year. Rutherig hopes to make stories that resonate with others and bring light to certain aspects of student life and the world inside and outside of RCHS. In her free time, she is an artist, loves to sing, and hang out with friends.

Myla Portillo
Myla Portillo, Staff Reporter

Myla Portillo is a Junior at RCHS, and this is her first year in Journalism.She works as a staff reporter for The Cat’s Eye.Her favorite thing about Journalism is improving her skills in writing and researching stories.In her free time she loves to draw and watch performances.


Comments (1)

All The Cat's Eye Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • R

    RobynMar 19, 2024 at 12:57 pm

    Very interesting and well put together article. Answered all of my questions. Great job to the writers!!!