City College club encourages students to look beyond selfies

Members+of+City+College%27s+Beyond+Selfies+club%2C+Marcus+Tomlinson%2C+%28from+left%29+Jocelyn+Stradiotto%2C+Devin+Mayhew%2C+Christine+Bagwell+and+Sydney+Campbell+take+a+photo+of+themselves+on+Monday%2C+April+7%2C+in+the+Lifescape+Garden+on+East+Campus+of+City+College+in+Santa+Barbara.+The+club+was+formed+in+February+2014+and+organizes+fundraising+methods+for+ambitious+students.

Matt Johnson

Members of City College's Beyond Selfies club, Marcus Tomlinson, (from left) Jocelyn Stradiotto, Devin Mayhew, Christine Bagwell and Sydney Campbell take a photo of themselves on Monday, April 7, in the Lifescape Garden on East Campus of City College in Santa Barbara. The club was formed in February 2014 and organizes fundraising methods for ambitious students.

SAVANAH LAMBRIDIS, Channels Staff

Beyond Selfies, a newly founded club at City College, is taking the first steps towards sponsoring young Cambodian girls through their education.

With organic and educational fundraising at its core, the club’s members are trying to get people to look beyond their phone’s front-facing camera, and get involved in the world around them.

“The point really is to go beyond yourself,” said Club President Jocelyn Stradiotto. “This club is really about reminding you of other cultures and the other problems in the world besides your small day-to-day issues.”

In their meetings at 1:30 p.m., every Monday on East Campus, newcomers are encouraged to join in and contribute ideas towards the fundraising efforts for their Cambodian counterparts.

In Cambodia, girls are given little opportunity for education, needing to work to benefit their family starting from a young age.

A foundation named World Assistance for Cambodia created a program to support these young girls’ thirst for education, named Girls Be Ambitious. This foundation will take a donation of $120 and support one young girl through one year of school.

Beyond Seflies has a goal of supporting a small group of girls in Cambodia through multiple years of education, giving them more opportunities to expand their future.

Beyond Selfies has a club charter stating members “promote healthy and organic fundraising.”

“If we were to do a bake sale, we would want treats that were healthy, vegan and raw. We would love to try to put on a marathon or sponsored trash cleanup event. Things that are beneficial for the body and the environment,” Stradiotto said.

By doing this, the club will be sponsoring individual girls, providing them and their family with enough money to attend school every month for an entire year.

When choosing girls to sponsor, the World Assistance for Cambodia organization offers the chance to view profiles of the future student an education could be given to.

“You really build that connection of realizing who you’re helping and (by) writing letters. You know you could meet them if you’re ever there,” Stradiotto said.

Stradiotto visited Cambodia and Thailand during winter break this past year. In her travels Stradiotto got the inspiration from Girls Be Ambitious to start Beyond Selfies at City College.

If the club grows large enough, members hope of one day visiting the group of girls they are currently setting out to aid.

The members of Beyond Selfies have recognized an important issue prevalent in other nations, and have made the first step to looking beyond themselves.

“Its hard for people to think out of the moment that they’re in,” Stradiotto said.

“There is so much social media overwhelming our lives that sometimes we forget to think about other cultures.”

The Beyond Selfies club has taken a stand on the social worth of a front-faced photo, and encourages students to add to the world around them, and share the power of education.