For Erica McLaughlin ’16, her experience at Hobart and William Smith, particularly as a member of the all-female a cappella group Three Miles Lost, has been a significant driver for a new peer-to-peer mentorship service she’s launched online called WeRyse.com.
McLaughlin’s efforts with WeRyse coincide with a business start-up project she’s working on for HubSpot, an inbound marketing software platform where she was recently hired as a sales development representative with the small business unit.
“My inspiration for WeRyse begins with my work with Three Miles Lost on campus this past semester,” says McLaughlin, who majored in sociology. “Through this service, I’m seeking to empower college students with the resources and tools for social change.”
This past spring, Three Miles Lost entered the national “Sing for Survivors” contest to combat sexual assault and was named one of just three finalists for a music video of their work. McLaughlin says that experience, along with tremendous support from members of the HWS community, propelled her goal to help other college students find their voices to bring their own perspectives to the forefront.
As part of the services, WeRyse patrons, for example, are mentored on how to raise funds through crowdsourcing platforms such as Kickstarter or budget allocation committees at their home schools. They also get a better understanding of finding support for their own movement and learn about managing their respective causes by making action plans and creating talking points.
The WeRyse site also has a blog component, including two posts about McLaughlin’s experience with Three Miles Lost and the HWS community: College Campus Unites In Solidarity Against Sexual Assault and How Mentorship Helped Three Miles Lost Spread Their Message.
“If you have a movement you want spread, don’t forget to ask your community to join you,” McLaughlin writes in her post about solidarity. “You never know until you try, just how much of an impact you may make.”