Out of the more than 250 student-run clubs and organizations on campus, many are related to service. Two of these groups, Girl Up UNH and Save the Children Action Network (SCAN), are new to campus this semester.
SCAN is an organization that is in the process of being established on campus. The group advocates for early childhood education in the United States, as well as maternal, childhood and newborn survival internationally.
UNH junior biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology major Lina Heinrichs is a SCAN student ambassador.
“We [SCAN] believe that every child deserves a strong start in life, so we educate voters and the general public and political figures about the importance of these issues in order to be the voices of children and mothers that would otherwise go unheard,” Heinrichs said.
Along with her fellow SCAN student ambassador occupational therapy graduate student Abby Brinkman, Heinrichs is the only other official member of the SCAN group on campus. Heinrichs and Brinkman were inspired to start the group as they both attended the SCAN Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C. last April. While there, they learned about the organization and advocacy for children.
To get official student organization status on campus, more students need to join the group. Brinkman and Heinrichs said they hope to get enough people interested in SCAN so that it can become official.
Thus far, SCAN has been successful with setting up an information table and hosting a couple of events, including a presentation about early childhood education before the third presidential debate last month. The group partnered with College Democrats, and 40 students attended the event.
According to Heinrichs, right now the group is “looking for general support on campus so come time to establish membership, people are interested in committing.”
“We would love to have students join SCAN because early childhood success is proven to be one of the best ways to set people up for lifelong success; we need students who want to serve by advocating to pass laws that expand opportunities to children around the world, which is ultimately good for everyone,” Heinrichs said.
SCAN hopes to put on more campus events. Next semester, the group anticipates showing segments from the social justice film “A Path Appears,” which touches on the relationship between early childhood education and social outcomes, followed by a discussion. Once more students show interest in the group, Brinkman and Heinrichs plan to start holding regular meetings.
For more information about joining SCAN, the group’s events and the national Advocacy Summit, email unhscan@gmail.com. SCAN members are also willing to present at club meetings, so email inquiries about setting up a presentation are welcome as well.
The second service related student organization new to campus this fall is Girl Up UNH, co-founded by UNH junior biomedical science majors Maggie Schultz and Rachel Moore. Schultz serves as the president, while Moore is the vice president of the organization.
“Girl Up is a national organization that works with the United Nations Foundation to provide girls with the opportunity to be healthy, educated and counted,” Schultz said.
The organization “raises awareness about the many struggles girls face in developing countries and raises money to support girls in communities so they can break the cycle of poverty,” Moore added.
Moore and Schultz started the group last semester. They were interested in joining She’s the First, another organization with similar goals to Girl Up, but it left campus, so they wanted to create their own group to fill the void.
In its first semester as an official new organization, Girl Up UNH has about 24 members. On Oct. 24, the group showed the film “He Named Me Malala,” and on Nov. 2, they participated in Take Back the Night. More advocacy and fundraising events are being planned. A bake sale and a game night are two possibilities.
Both Moore and Schultz said that they enjoy leading Girl Up UNH.
“I really like leading Girl Up because it is nice to see members who have the same passion for girls’ rights and education that I do,” Moore said.
“Students should get involved in Girl Up or any service-based organization because it is a great way to learn about issues occurring around us and to actually be able to do something about it,” Schultz said.
New members are always welcome. Meetings are on Wednesdays in Parsons N116. Any questions can be sent to Schultz at ms2028@wildcats.unh.edu.
Heinrichs noted the vast array of options for students to volunteer both on campus and beyond. “There are so many opportunities to volunteer, both at UNH and in the surrounding communities in New Hampshire. Volunteering is a great way to get involved and to make a positive difference in someone else’s life in a way that you may never know,” she said.

Executive Editor