Skip to main content
March 13, 2012

Social Innovator of the Week: Tammy Tibbetts

We’ve already heard about the amazing entrepreneurial skills of Jess Ratcliffe and Edwin Broni-Mensah here on Nokia Connects, and today’s inspiring story is all about using social media skills for a good cause. Want to know what I’m talking about? Then read on…


Twenty-something Tammy Tibbetts is a passionate advocate of the power of social media to create social change. She is the Founder and President of She’s the First, a not-for-profit that sponsors girls’ education in the developing world, helping them be first in their families to graduate. Sounds great, you might think, but what is it and how does it work?

It all started for Tammy when she was working as a website editor in New York by day, and volunteering as director of a foundation that supported children’s basic needs and education in Liberia by night. It was this experience that made her wonder why there wasn’t a directory of school programs for girls in the developing world – since it is often girls who are missing out on education, and girls who can do most to change the status quo in their countries.

She turned to social media for the answer, and created an online campaign to raise awareness for this amazing cause:

It was this social campaign that then ignited the flame under She’s the First, and turned it from an idea into a real not-for-profit organisation.

“Originally She’s the First was a media campaign, and the intention was to give a call to action to sponsor a girl with a group of your friends – everyone gives a little and then there’s a huge impact. But as it started the brand started to take off and resonate…”

Following the success of the media campaign, She’s the First re-launched in 2011 as an interactive web platform helping to pair campaigners and fundraisers with trusted sponsorship programmes, as well as offering fundraising tips and advice. To date, Tammy and her team have helped sponsor more than 80 girls in the developing world – and counting!

Tammy’s passion and perseverance has made all the difference to the lives of girls in some of the world’s poorest countries – and it certainly puts my daily grind into perspective (although I wouldn’t call working for Nokia Connects a ‘grind’)! Do you know anyone whose inspirational story you want to share? You know where to find me @Nokia_Connects 🙂