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We believe that discovery happens when we leave our comfort zones. We believe that empathy strikes when we walk in someone else’s shoes. We believe that important changes in our world often begin with one individual. We believe, above all else, that change begins with HER.

ANNUAL REPORT 2012 TABLE OF CONTENTS 3 Letter from Founder, Erin Guttenplan Subedi | 5 Mission & Vision | 7 Why Nepal | 9 Why Girls | 10 Year in Review | 11 Note from Board Chair, Sarah Andrews | 16 Our Impact | 19 Leadership | 20 Finances | 22 Our Supporters | 23 Letter from Director, Emily Layton Stanley

Cover Photo Credit: Rachael Weaver Photo Credit This Page: Sarah Andrews

Young people often ask us how they can help address issues like sex trafficking or international poverty. Our first recommendation to them is to get out and see the world. - Sheryl Wu Dunn & Nicholas Kristof in Half the Sky

I’m a firm believer in this quote from the book Half the Sky, which argues that educating girls and women in the developing world is the key to economic and social progress across the globe. I believe in it so much so that in 2009 I quit my job and packed my bags to spend five months in Nepal, India, Thailand, and Cambodia to volunteer, discover, and learn. The experience changed my life. For me, the real turning point came in November 2009 when I visited the village of Jarang, Nepal. What I saw there was a school that was literally collapsing around its students as they struggled to learn. (It’s unfortunately a sight that is all too common in remote areas of this country.) I’ll never forget the words of a villager that day who simply said, “It’s not safe to teach children here.”


The story of Edge of Seven can be traced back to that moment. While I knew this one primary school housing 80 students was really just a drop in the bucket when thinking of the millions of children not in school around the world, it seemed to me like a place to start. With the help of 30 volunteers, Edge of Seven had its first directive and we set out to

Photo Credit: Sarah Andrews



build a new school and a new future for the children of Jarang. While in Jarang, I began to connect the research I’d read about the lack of opportunities for girls and women with what I was seeing firsthand. I was seeing that girls, like 7-year-old Sorbina, were always the last to arrive at school. They were also always the first people to wake in their households, rising early before dawn to begin tackling the myriad chores that fell on their tiny shoulders. Once finished with morning chores, they scrambled to school for a few hours before returning home to more work. But, yet, they did it day after day. And each day they made it to school helped to strengthen their hope and conviction that they would continue to receive an education. Research consistently proves that educating and empowering girls breaks the cycle of generational poverty. The proof is in the data. When a girl is educated, she marries later, has fewer children, takes better care of her children, and becomes a responsible steward of her family’s resources. The result is healthier more prosperous communities. At Edge of Seven, we are proud members of what has come to be known as the “girl effect” – a movement that champions the unique potential that educating girls has to end global poverty. To date, we have directly empowered more than 435 girls in Nepal to become change agents in their lives and their communities. Working with our partners, volunteers, and the local community members, we have built four school buildings in remote villages and completed two water projects, providing clean water, safer environments, and healthier living. We’ve also built one girls’ dormitory that provides housing and scholarships to 40 girls studying for college and attending grades 11 and 12. We recognize, again, that our work is just a drop in the bucket of what needs to be done globally to eradicate poverty, which is why we will continue to provide a path to progress for girls and women in the developing world. We thank you for joining us on this mission. We couldn’t do it without your support. Sincerely,

Erin Guttenplan Subedi, Edge of Seven Founder 4


OUR MISSION Edge of Seven generates capacity-building services, volunteer support, and awareness for projects that create access to education, health, and economic opportunities for girls and women in the developing world.

OUR VALUES Expanded Opportunity We envision a world where every person is empowered to create the life they want to live. Our work is aimed directly at leveling the playing field of opportunity for girls and women, who most often face barriers to educational and economic advancement.

Creative Expression We believe that stories and innovation have the power to change the world. We embrace creative expression as we seek solutions for the challenges facing girls and women across the globe.

Love for Community We know that we do not have all the answers, and that we have much to learn from the communities where we work. We value collaboration in everything we do, which is why all of the projects that we support are initiated at a local level.

Commitment to Growth We believe that important changes in the world often start with one individual. Sparking growth in knowledge, spirit, and opportunity for the girls and women we serve, the volunteers who travel abroad with us,and the partner communities we work with is our ultimate goal..

Passion for the Edge We believe that discovery happens when we step outside our comfort zones. We believe that empathy strikes when we walk in someone else’s shoes. Our programs are designed for those seeking adventure, impact and exposure to new experiences, cultures, and ideas. We believe that it’s through this exposure that individuals will become empowered to change the world for the better. 5

OUR VISION At Edge of Seven, we believe that educating and empowering girls and women in the developing world is not only the right thing to do, it’s also the best way to alleviate global poverty and improve the health and well-being of each and every person on the planet. Our Community Development projects aim to do just this by giving more girls and women access to education, health, and economic opportunities.

OUR PROGRAMS We also believe that each of us can play an important role in contributing to the empowerment of girls and women worldwide. By fusing international travel with service, we create unique volunteer opportunities that lead to development on both a personal and global level. The adventures we offer are life-changing, and our volunteers push their personal limits in order to improve the lives of girls in the developing world.

Community Development Program Provides funding and technical support to various infrastructure projects, such as schools, vocational training centers, health centers, dormitories, and community water supplies, which create access to empowerment for girls and women.

International Volunteer Program Places volunteers at our project sites overseas with the goal of promoting cross-cultural understanding and providing additional labor and support to our projects. Photo Credit: Rachael Weaver



According to the World Bank, Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 25 percent of its 30 million residents living on less than one dollar per day. Investment in the education of girls and women in Nepal is desperately needed. Consider: The literacy rate for Nepalese women is just 35 percent, compared with 65 percent of men. (Globalis) Seven out of every 10 girls in rural areas in Nepal do not attain a secondary school education. It’s estimated that 70 percent of women living in certain regions are victims of daily domestic violence due to being disempowered and disrespected by their husbands and communities. (DFID) It’s estimated that nearly 10,000 Nepalese girls who are not in school are sold to the sex trade each year. (US Department of State)



There is a beauty and mystery about Nepal that is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Once you scratch the surface, you will find people who possess the most amazing spirits and resolve. - Kelli, Edge of Seven Volunteer

Photo Credit: Rachael Weaver


At Edge of Seven, we believe that investing in girls and women in the developing world is the best solution to ending world poverty. That’s because: High Drop-Out Rates 1 in 5 girls in developing countries who enroll in primary school never finish. Yet when just 10 percent more girls are educated, a country’s GDP grows by three percent. (USAID) Early Marriage 1 out of every 7 girls in the developing world will marry before the age of 15. Studies show that early marriages lead to poorer health and economic outcomes for a girl and her family. Yet, girls who stay in school for seven or more years will, on average, marry four years later and have fewer children. (USAID) Low Enrollment It’s estimated that there are more than 75 million girls not in school in the developing world. (PLAN) Earning Potential Studies show that every year of schooling increases a woman’s earning power by 10 to 20 percent, allowing her to lift her family out of poverty. (PLAN) Maternal Health A child’s probability of survival is increased by 20 percent when household income is controlled by the mother, rather than the father. (United Nations)


Photo Credit: Rachael Weaver



On May 3, 2012, I boarded a plane in Nepal bound for the U.S. While I was looking forward to seeing friends and family for the first time in eight months, I also felt immense sadness leaving this amazing country that had become my second home. My time spent working on Edge of Seven’s projects in the villages of Khastav and Phuleli during 2011 and 2012 impacted me on a personal level in ways that are difficult to describe. But one thing I can easily convey is how the experience strengthened my conviction in the work Edge of Seven and our local partners are doing in rural Nepalese communities. So many young girls in these areas lack the resources they need to become educated. By building structures, like schools and dormitories, and assisting with community-wide improvements, like water supplies, we are lifting many of the barriers girls face when accessing an education. Working alongside our partner organizations, like The Small World, we are also seeing that these girls receive scholarship assistance and that entire communities are being taught about the benefits of educating their daughters, sisters, and mothers. In 2012, we strengthened community and partner relationships and began to lay the groundwork for new projects that will provide educational and economic empowerment for girls and women far into the future. I’m not only excited by the progress we made in 2012, but for the continued progress that we will see each year that our schools and girls’ dormitories welcome in new students with promise. On behalf of Edge of Seven’s Board of Directors, I’d like to say thank you to each and every one of you who has supported the girls and communities we work with through your donations, volunteer travel, and advocacy. The projects described on the following pages are a direct product of your generous investment. Namaste,


SARAH ANDREWS Photo Credit: Travis Hughbanks

Sarah Andrews, Edge of Seven Board Chair


Secondary School in Phuleli, Nepal In February 2012, Edge of Seven completed the Phuleli Secondary School, for classes 7 and 8, in a remote village in the Everest Region of Nepal. This school gives students in Phuleli the opportunity to pursue secondary education in a safe environment that is close to home. Before the school was built, students in classes 7 and 8 had to commute over two hours daily to the closest school. Because girls are typically responsible for all household chores, this commute time prevented many of them from attending school. Volunteers and the local community worked together to clear the project site, lay the foundation and construct the school using the earthbag construction method, a seismically-resistant construction technique that is advantageous for building in remote regions. The school was a combined effort by Edge of Seven and Nepali NGO, The Small World, with design support from Architecture for Humanity Boston.

Photo Credit: The Small World

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Higher Secondary School in Basa, Nepal In the summer of 2012, Edge of Seven completed Phase One of a brand new higher secondary school in the remote village of Basa in the Solukhumbu District of Nepal. This phase included four classrooms housed in two school buildings. The school, which now stands as the only higher secondary school in this region, was constructed with the earthquake-resistant earthbag construction method and has created classroom space for more than 100 new students who were previously unable to access higher education. Phase One of this project was a combined effort by Edge of Seven, the Nepali NGO The Small World, and Architecture for Humanity Denver. o

In 2013 and 2014, Edge of Seven will return to Basa to build four additional classrooms to house even more students and allow teachers to expand curriculum. We will also be building a female-sensitive sanitation system at the school to accommodate female students who routinely miss school during their monthly menstruation due to a lack of facilities.

Photo Credit: Rachael Weaver


High School Students Experience Culture & Service in Nepal In the summer of 2012, Edge of Seven led 17 high school students from the St. Andrews School in Austin, Texas on a service-oriented exploration of Nepal that allowed them to experience the cultures of Nepalese people, as well as learn about the social issues and challenges affecting girls and women in the country. Starting in Kathmandu, the students traveled to the Solukhumbu Region where they participated in a cross-cultural exchange at Edge of Seven’s girls’ hostel in the district capital of Salleri, contributed labor to a local water project, visited a nearby monastery, and trekked through the Solukhumbu Region. All of these experiences combined helped to improve the students’ leadership skills and allowed them to form an understanding of Nepalese culture and issues impacting development in Nepal.

Photo Credit: Lisa Culbertson


Trek With a Purpose: Adventure in the Everest Region In the fall of 2012, Edge of Seven launched “Trek with a Purpose,” a new fundraising initiative that engages adventure-seeking trekkers with our mission of providing educational opportunities for girls and women in Nepal. In October 2012, a group of intrepid trekkers set out for the Solukhumbu Region to explore the Himalayas and view Edge of Seven’s project sites in the villages of Salleri, Phuleli, and Basa. Each trekker fulfilled a fundraising goal prior to the trip, and all of the money raised went to supporting Edge of Seven’s projects through our Community Development Program. To learn more about Edge of Seven’s Trek with a Purpose program and find out how you can raise funds and awareness for our community development work in Nepal, please visit our website at or email us at

Photo Credit: Sparky Millikin

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Over the course of three years, Edge of Seven, in partnership with local organizations and our international volunteers, has: TWO

Provided 2 remote villages with a community water supply


Completed 4 school buildings in rural Nepal


Completed one girls’ hostel housing 40 girls pursuing a college-level education


Engaged 99 international volunteers in meaningful work at our project sites in Nepal

FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE Provided direct access to education for 455 girls in Nepal


Directly impacted more than 875 individuals through our community infrastructure projects




Ramita Magar, 17, has been living at our Salleri Girls’ Hostel since its opening in 2011. She is from the village of Garma, a five hour walk from the district capital of Salleri. Here she tells us how coming to the hostel has changed her life for the better.

Life in my village is very poor. There, I had to work in the field every day. The school was a one hour walk from my village, straight up a hill at the top of a mountain. Because school was so far from my village, it was difficult for me to make time for my education because I had to get up and work before going to school and then work when I got home. Since I have been at the hostel things are very different. Now, I have confidence. I go to school, and I don’t have any absences. I have also been involved in different competencies, like computer and English classes. It’s helped me to develop myself, and I feel very happy. People in my village always say that education is like the third eye of a human being. If you do not have an education, you will not be able to do anything. Education is important for everyone, but especially women, because without it a woman [in Nepal] would just stay in her house just like her mother did. If I was still in my village, I would be married already and have a family. I’d have to spend my whole life with my husband, obeying him. Now, education is the most important thing in my life. After I finish school, my dream is to become a good, responsible social worker and travel to different villages in remote places in Nepal and help others who are not educated.

Photo Credit: Binod Subedi


Volunteer testimonial

On my trip with Edge of Seven, I was thoroughly impressed with the level of organization and our group’s ability to get things done. Not only did Edge of Seven ensure our safety and comfort while engaging us to work toward a collective vision, they also have partner affiliates who are truly the best around. In Nepal, I fell in love with my host family, learned to speak a little Nepali, and, believe it or not, thoroughly enjoyed back-breaking physical labor. If you’re thinking about volunteering with Edge of Seven, just stop thinking and GO! – June, Edge of Seven Volunteer

Photo Credit: Lisa Culbertson



emily layton stanley . director

Prior to working with Edge of Seven, Emily spent six years at Outward Bound, where she held a number of positions before overseeing the Scholarship Program. Her experience working with low-income, high-potential youth through Outward Bound gave Emily an appreciation for pushing personal limits and finding innovative solutions to social challenges. Emily has spent time in both Kenya and Nepal working on community development initiatives and has also worked in evaluation with JVA Consulting. She holds a B.A. from James Madison University and an M.B.A. from the University of Colorado. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

sarah andrews . board chair

Sarah brings more than 10 years of experience in journalism, marketing communications, and nonprofit management to the Edge of Seven board. Most recently, she directed the communications and marketing department at Meals on Wheels and More in Austin, Texas, where she led various fundraising initiatives, media strategies, and community collaborations. She has also worked as a newspaper reporter and editor in Boston, a documentarian in rural Appalachia, and an events coordinator at Stanford University. Through her involvement with Edge of Seven, Sarah has spent a total of 12 months living and working in Nepal. She holds a B.S. and M.S. from Boston University and lives in Denver, Colorado.

erin guttenplan subedi . founder & board vice chair

Erin’s passion for international service led her to start Edge of Seven in 2010 after spending five months volunteering throughout Asia. During this experience, Erin saw an opportunity to join the movement that has been dubbed “The Girl Effect.” Edge of Seven was born from Erin’s belief that unleashing the power of girls and women in the developing world will change our world for the better. In addition to founding Edge of Seven, Erin has spent the last decade working with EF Education, the world leader in international education, where she has held positions in sales, customer service, marketing, human resources, and business development. Erin holds a B.S. from Cornell University, and lives in Denver, Colo.rado.

scott mcclintock . board treasurer

Scott brings more than a decade of experience in entrepreneurial and nonprofit management to the Edge of Seven board, having served as Executive Director of Hill House in Boston and Treasurer of the Beacon Hill Business Association. Scott received a B.S. and MBA from Cornell University, and currently works as Director of Sales for Digital Lumens and lives near Boston, Mass. with his family.

travis hughbanks . board member

Travis is a LEED certified architect with over 10 years of design experience in both commercial and residential architecture. Between 2010 and 2012, he visited Nepal twice to oversee the construction of four school buildings in the rural villages of Jarang, Phuleli, and Basa. In addition to his work as an architect, Travis is a web and graphic designer and filmmaker. He received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Idaho and lives in Denver, Colorado.

julia alvarez . board member

Julia has traversed down many paths in her life, from facilitating youth leadership development conferences to working as a policy assistant in Washington, D.C. Now as the National Training Director at JVA Consulting, Julia helps nonprofit leaders maximize their potential and capacity and strengthen their skills in fundraising, board governance, grant writing, and management. Julia holds 19 a B.A. from Kenyon College and an M.A. from the University for Peace in Costa Rica. She lives in Denver, Colorado.


Edge of Seven is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. As an early stage social purpose venture, we take great pride in our financial transparency and accountability to our donors: FUNDRAISING - 5%







Charitable Contributions Earned Income - Volunteer Trip Fees Total Revenue

$37,447 $70,493 $107,940

$116,062 $90,253 $206,315

$119,168 $109,287 $228,455

Program Services Fundraising Management & General Total Expense

$104,260 $1,938 $3,136 $109,335

$176,072 $6,865 $7,878 $190,815

$204,028 $11,290 $15,612 $230,930








The future must not belong to those who bully women. It must be shaped by girls who go to school and those who stand for a world where our daughters can live their dreams just like our sons.

Photo Credit: Rachael Weaver

- President Barack Obama

Our Loyal Supporters This list includes donors who contributed $200 and above in 2012 and other key supporters. We have done our best to be accurate in compiling this list of extraordinary supporters. If we missed someone or misspelled a name, we sincerely apologize and ask that you let Edge of Seven know about the error. John Clese Africa School Assistance Project Jennifer Alevy Julia Alvarez Anonymous Ellie Antrim Arhaus Furniture Tamara Arredondo Julian Arredondo Asana Yoga Katelyn Baker Anne Banister Morgan Barnhill Battery 621 Eric Beato Kassia Binkowski Connor Blake Sharone Blonder BoldLeaders Kim Bongiorno Jeffrey Cho Clif Bar Family Foundation Communities Foundation of Texas Meghan Conway Tom Cox Heather Crandall Lisa Culbertson Daniel Cusher Delaware Community Foundation Gregg Devito David & Marilyn Dickey David Dille Charles Dix Jr.

Steve & Corinne Domahidy Katie Donahue Lauren Sullivan Downey EF Education Rachel Epic Tiffani Erdmanczyk Katharine Ervin Dan Feighery Mary S. Fillman Flatgrass Realty Kacey Flemming Frontier Graphics & Installation Michael Gamel-McCormick Ariana Ghez Juan Sebastian Gomez Wendy Swart Grossman Dean Guttenplan Judy & Paul Guttenplan H+L Architecture Matt Haley Tina & Jim Happel Alison & Nathan Hargreaves Sara Harper Steve Hart Brandon Hawkins Allison & Tony Hill Geoff & Jaime Horsfall Travis Hughbanks & Sarah Andrews Monroe Hughbanks Stephen Hughbanks Fineas & Nancy Hughbanks Icelantic Promise Jensen

Avery Johnson Caroline Jones James Jones Erin Keefer Gerald Knievel Lindsay Kruger Corey Lamborn Hon Peng Lau Garrett & Elizabeth Layton Shannon Lee Polly & David Leshan Linger LoHi Fitness Dorothy Lorenze Robert Luke Melinda Mathews Matt McCall Scott & Marissa McClintock Casey McManemin Josephine McManemin Elle McPherson Morgan Mechling Dale & Robert Megill Nathan Michaud Midtown Obstetrics & Gynecology Alexa Miles Jonathan Miller Marguerite Miller Robert "Sparky" Millikin & Sylvia Geiger Shelley & Ed Minch Ursula Miniszewski Jackson Moody

Lindsay Moore O'Brien Group LLC Honey Onstad Lianna Owens Oxford Hotel Brian Pavlak Christopher Pazoles Matt Pazoles Peaks Foundation Pelican Seven Studios Amy Pond Ponderosa High School Sarah Ponko Louise Pople Alex Prain Zach Prybylo Talia Radford RedLine Gallery Zackery Reeser Giuliana Richetta Pete Ricketts Michelle Robles-Garcia Rocky Mountain Roofing & Restoration Paul and Lorraine Rothstein Tracy Rothstein Chelsea Rozanski Erika Schlichter Michelle Schroder Julia Schutt Kristi & Mark Schwesinger Karma Sherpa Lisa Shusko Tara Skredynski

Claire Slattery-Quintanilla Shanti Sosienski Alisa Spirit of the Wind St. Andrews School Ben & Emily Stanley Binod Subedi & Erin Guttenplan Subedi Liz Sudderth Katie Sullivan Kevin Sun Ten Thousand Villages The Crossland Group, Ltd The Small World Alli Tolbert Sohita Torgalkar Betsy & Keith Totten Stacey Twigg Emily Tynon Muhammad Umair Allison Van Boening Verso Cellars Pam Warren Brett & David Wax Rachael Weaver Zach Wendel Elizabeth Wepler Brandon Wheeler Paul Wolyn Carly Wyman Jesse Young Zonta Club of Denver



To Our Family at Edge of Seven, LETTER FROM DIRECTOR,


Now in our third year, with your support, Edge of Seven continues to work hard to create access to more opportunities for advancement for women and girls worldwide. You’ve seen the numbers. We’ve built four school buildings, completed two water supplies, and constructed a hostel so that girls can attend high school in the remote Solukhumbu Region of Nepal. We have hosted 99 international volunteers and provided direct educational access to 455 girls. These are big numbers, but it’s the stories of the individuals behind these numbers that motivate us daily. Individuals like Pema, who will graduate from the Salleri Girls Hostel in 2013 with our first class of girls. Without adequate housing, she never would have been able to attend college. The hostel gave her access to a degree, but her personal growth transcends the schoolyard. We’ve seen Pema become a leader in her community, helping to instill in family and friends a greater understanding of what it means to be educated. Pema says that she “has never seen the greater community (in rural Nepal) so hopeful for their daughters.” Or Lisa, the Dean of Students at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, who took 17 high school students on a volunteer expedition to Nepal. She creates access to opportunities for girls by showing her students how vitally important young women are to alleviating poverty in the developing world. These students, in turn, pass this knowledge on to their parents and brothers and sisters, creating more support for girls education.

Photo Credit: Ben Stanley


These incredible people are why, together, we do what we do. And certainly we couldn’t do it without your support. Or Maya, a student at the Basa Higher Secondary School. Now that she has a regular opportunity to attend school, we’ve seen Maya blossom. She has become more confident. She wants to delay marriage and understands the consequences of poor nutrition. Someday, she wants children of her own so she can teach them what she has learned. She hopes her daughters will not have to confront issues of educational access because, if we work hard enough, education will be universal. And Tamara. Tamara has worked with Edge of Seven since the start of our second project and, this year, had the opportunity to go on our first fundraising trek to Nepal. She saw first-hand, the rugged landscape of the rural areas where we work, the opportunity that safe schools bring to these areas and the benefits of providing education, particularly, to girls. She returned home, ready to impart change and continues to work for Edge of Seven, advocating widely for girls education. These incredible people are why, together, we do what we do. And we certainly couldn’t do it without your support. Thank you for being a vital part of the Edge of Seven family and for making education, good health and economic opportunity more accessible to women and girls worldwide. Namaste and thank you,

Emily Layton Stanley, Edge of Seven Director

EDGE OF SEVEN 3132 West 46th Ave, Denver, CO 80211

Edge of Seven 2012 Annual Report  

The 2012 Annual Report from Edge of Seven. Edge of Seven is a nonprofit organization based in Denver, Colorado that engages volunteers in it...

Edge of Seven 2012 Annual Report  

The 2012 Annual Report from Edge of Seven. Edge of Seven is a nonprofit organization based in Denver, Colorado that engages volunteers in it...