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Local Student Funds Education for Girls in Africa

Raises money to send 45 girls to safe schools

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Greenwich, CT | Added on July 21, 2014 At 05:19 PM

Mary Grace Henry started out five years ago with a sewing machine, and the dream of helping one girl. 

"I knew that education would be a good way to help one girl because it just changes her life completely. it lets her be in charge of her own destiny. I really liked my own education and I wanted to help give that to someone else," said Henry. 

And Reverse the Course was born. The senior at Sacred Heart in Greenwich now funds schooling for a total of 45 girls in countries like Kenya, Uganda, Haiti, and Paraguay.  She makes unique hair bands, bows, ribbons and other accessories, and 100 percent of the profits go to Reverse the Course. 

"We now have over 300 different products in this workroom alone. We have sold over 10,000 hair accessories," said Henry. 

Since 2009, Reverse the Course has raised over $60,000 to send these girls to school.

"The range per year for a girl is between 800 and 1,000 U.S. dollars. But, it's on the rise because of the economy there, and because it depends on the school. We try to get all our girls into boarding schools," said Henry. 

Henry saw first hand the benefits of sending the girls to a boarding school when she visited Africa last June. 

"Not only is it more beneficial for them, it's also safer in general. Especially if they are Messiah, they won't be taken away for early marriage and things like that," said Henry. 

This was Henry's second trip to Africa to visit the girls she supports. 

"Seeing them again was really fun because they recognized me and really understood what I was doing, and how I was helping them from here, and how people here really care about their education," Henry said.

Henry's goal is to provide the funding for 100 girls to go to school, and she is currently working on a plan to continue with Reverse the Course when she heads to college next fall. 

"It makes me more dedicated to my own studies and makes me want to do better in my own life. I think that I've gotten just as much as they have received from Reverse the Course," said Henry. 

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