Meet the Interns!

If you haven’t noticed by now, the snow has melted, the trees have started getting their leaves, and everyone has shed their winter coats; spring is here.

Here at the Empower Campaign we are bringing in the new season with a fresh batch of interns!  All of these wonderful people encompass what The Empower Campaign is all about. With their help we’ll be able to facilitate all of our events, work with all our Empower Campus groups, and accomplish our main goal for the year; the building of the Bigodi School in Uganda.

Gwennan Richmond President


Political Science/Anthropology (minor)

This organization has taught me that the actions of individuals matter and that what we are doing here has a real and profound impact in communities half a world away.

“To travel is to live, we are people of the world and it is our responsibility to embrace it” ~ an 80 something yr old ex-wall street lawyer I met in Ethiopia, traveling the world by himself. His name was Malcolm.

Jordan Youtz Advertising/Marketing Intern


Advertising Management

I entered The Empower Campaign talent show fundraiser, was crowned Mr. Empower and won $100. I gave Andria Sherrow a giant hug for all she does and she gave me a business card. It felt great to give the $100 prize back to The Empower Campaign, which provided a whole year of school for two Ugandan children. I love that “feel great moment” and it’s awesome to know I’ll feel it again as we continue to help Africa grow smarter!

“I believe education is the food of life and the brain deserves knowledge and we all have brains, so education should be universal and depriving one of knowledge is similar to starving”

Matt Nelson Social-Media Intern


Secondary Education

I love the fact that I’m helping kids thousands of miles away get the education they deserve.

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”  ~Albert Einstein

Chris Berry Web-Design Intern


Visual Communications: Interactive Multimedia

I love The Empower Campaign because I like having the opportunity to help change someone’s life.

“We must become the change we want to see” Mahatma Gandhi

Lydia Deakin Artistic Director Intern


Photojournalism/minoring in French (and hoping to get a TEFL certificate)

I think that Empower is a great opportunity to get involved and make a real difference in someone’s world. Even though we’re so removed here in Athens, Ohio, every little effort we make as part of the Empower campaign will change a child’s life for the better, and that’s probably one of the most worthwhile things anyone could ever hope to do.

“Life, misfortunes, isolation, abandonment, poverty, are battlefields that have their heroes; obscure heroes, sometimes greater than the illustrious heroes.” – Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Jordane Santora Development Director Intern


Special Education

Im not just helping these kids, they are helping me by teaching me that nothing is out of reach when you have determination and a will to succeed like they do!

“When you learn, teach. When you get, give” -Maya Angelou

Jen Scott 5K Coordinator


Journalism Public Relations Major

Education is a powerful tool and I love that Empower uses education to
help deter other issues in Uganda. It seems like such an obvious
answer that not many people take initiative to help with.

“Imperfection is beauty; madness is genius, and it is better to

be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” – Marilyn Monroe

Samanatha Browning Public Relations


Journalism (Public Relations)

I love being part of Empower because I get to be part of an organization that has a purpose in the world and helps others.

“The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action.” -Herbert Spencer


Building Bigodi: Check out the progress!

The building progress on the Bigodi Nursery and Primary School in Uganda is astounding! So far, we have raised and distributed $8,000 of the $40,000 necessary to finish building the school. Bricks are being laid, walls are going up and it is all thanks to you, our loyal friends and supporters.

What is even more astounding is the challenge grant by the Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation in New York. This foundation has offered a grant of $10,000 on one condition: we must raise $22,000 by March 1.

I think we’re up to that challenge, don’t you?

Here’s what Empower needs from you to meet this goal:

  • Creative fundraising ideas. We all love the 5K, Mr. Empower and jewelry sales, but we need something bigger! Any idea is welcome! Post a comment or e-mail your ideas to executive director, Andria Sherrow.
  • Spread the word about our progress in Bigodi! This finished school will be such an accomplishment for the Bigodi community and we’d like to shout it from rooftops! Post your comments on our FB Fan page and send out Twitter messages to your friends and family.
  • Your continued support. Purchase Empower jewelry, attend Empower events and tell your friends! We appreciate any support you give us. Empower could not exist without it. If you’d like to get your name on a plaque inside Bigodi School send your $50 donation today!

We still have a long way to go, but with your help we will reach our goal. Stay tuned for updates about its progress!

To see more photos on the Bigodi Nursery and Primary School’s progress, see our Facebook album here.

Intern with The Empower Campaign


Mr. Empower Results

First, a big thank you to all of the contestants, judges, Empower OU volunteers and audience members who made the Mr. Empower Pageant a success!

The evening was great and all of the contestants were enthusiastic and prepared! They represented 10 different student organizations at Ohio University:

  1. Benjamin Childers — Sigma Lambda Beta
  2. Tommy Greene — PRSSA
  3. Derek (DJ) Hasselbusch — American Marketing Association
  4. Dave Hendricks — The Post
  5. Paul Hypolite — OU College Democrats
  6. Ian Klein — OU Running Club
  7. Michael Lupsa — Global Leadership Center
  8. Austin Pounds — Belts Breaking Bondage
  9. Kyle Triplett — Alpha Lambda Delta Freshman Honor Society
  10. Jordan Youtz — Ohio University Advertising Association

The runners-up were Paul Hypolite and Ian Klein, but it was Jordan Youtz who took home the grand prize and title of Mr. Empower 2010.

The winner was chosen by the four judges: Andria Sherrow, executive director of the Empower Campaign; Britney Gedeon, Empower OU student chapter president; Joan Kanyange, Uganda in-country consultant for The Empower Campaign; and Robert Leary, OU Student Senate president.


The next Empower OU meeting is Wednesday at 9 p.m. in Bentley 236. I hope to see you there! We’ll be finalizing the volunteers for the last jewelry fundraisers of the quarter and discussing the wine tasting at Latitude 39 to be held on March 6 at 6:30 p.m. (Reservations are $35).

Painting the wall for the Mr. Empower Pageant!

Tonight member of Empower OU painted the graffiti wall! Check it out on your walk to campus, and be sure to come to the Mr. Empower Pageant this Friday at 7:15 p.m. in Baker Theatre.

The Mr. Empower Pageant is Feb. 12 at 7:15 p.m. in Baker Theatre. Admission is $3.

General Minutes 02-03-10

Mr. Empower

  • Volunteers, arrive at 6:45pm outside Baker Theater, otherwise seating starts at 7:15pm

COMS/Journalism/PR majors:

  • Write letters to the editor to The Post and Athens News advertising Mr. Empower. Talk to Ashley if you have any questions or want your letter proof read.

Valentine’s Day

  • There has been a change to the sale time on Saturday, February 13: We are selling from 5 – 7 p.m. on the first floor of Baker NOT the earlier time in Latitude 39.
  • We are selling at the Vagina Monologues this weekend:

Friday (7:30-9:30pm) @ Baker Theater

Saturday (2:30-4:20pm) @ Baker Theater

Sunday (7:30-9:30pm) @ Baker Theater


  • Positions:
  1. Vice President (membership)
  2. Secretary
  3. Treasurer
  4. Sales/Merchandising (reserve and set up sale tables, train volunteers, etc.)
  5. Web Design

*Contact any of the current officers for details on what is involved with each position

  • Process:
  1. Week 7 = nominations begin (Every candidate must be nominated by another current member and have that nomination seconded by a different current member)
  2. Week 8 = nominations continue
  3. Week 9 = Speeches (qualifications, why you are interested, etc.)
  4. Week 10 = results!

*Only active members (completed membership requirements such as educational and volunteer hours, and have paid their quarterly dues of $10) can nominate and vote

Educational Hour Opportunities

  • Vagina Monologues – Fri. Feb. 5 – Sun. Feb. 7 (see times above)
  • Bela Fleck – Thurs. Feb. 18, 7:30pm @ MEMAUD, $18
  • Bobcats for Israel, Ethiopian Jews – Tues. Feb. 16, 7:30-8:30pm @ Walter Hall Rotunda

*Post summaries about these events at www.empowercampaign/ under the “Educational Hours” blog post if you attend.

Educational Hours available this quarter!

Part of being an active member in The Empower Campaign, OU Student Chapter, is attending two hours of an educational programs/events on campus. These education events can range from the OU Performing Arts Series to conferences in the African Studies Department to the weekly forums led by the International Studies Department.

This quarter, there are a few upcoming educational events. The information is listed below and if you’ve attended one of these events, please leave a comment and let Empower OU know you were there and what you thought of it!

The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler
Brought to you by the student-run theater troupe Lost Flamingo Company.

When: 8 p.m. today
3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6
8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7

Where: Baker Theatre, 2nd floor of Baker Center

Admission: $5

Béla Fleck — The Africa Project
Béla Fleck is a Grammy-award-winning banjo player. He traveled to Africa for seven months and the collaborations with African musicians resulted is his latest album, The Africa Project. The album was recorded in Tanzania, The Gambia, Mali and Uganda (where The Empower Campaign works).

When: Thursday, Feb. 18

Where: Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium

Admission: Student tickets are $18