When you have the privilege of accessing menstrual products every month, periods don't seem like a big deal. However, in countries like India, where 20% of menstruating individuals don't finish high school because products aren't accessible, periods are a big deal.
In the U.S., the ingredients of tampons and pads aren't regulated by the FDA, even though q-tips (which barely enter the body) are. In federal prisons across the country, inmates are often only allotted 2 pads per month. In many states, men's razors aren't charged with a sales tax, but menstrual products are. And in states like Oregon, homeless individuals often have to choose between food for the kids or tampons for the month.
Rosie is a 501(c)(3) non-profit I founded in February of 2015 to work on these problems. Rosie provides menstrual products to those in need, particularly the homeless. Rosie also does advocacy at the federal and state level and provides education to schools here and abroad.
Rosie serves several shelters and organizations like Planned Parenthood in the U.S., as well as works with orphanages in India.
Rosie is run by high school and college students, all of whom are volunteers, which means that every dollar that comes in goes directly to those in need. I worked as Executive Director for 2.5 years and now serve as a mentor.
By February 2018, Rosie has given out over 100,000 menstrual products. To sustain, Rosie need your help. The funds come from local grants, generous community members, and the fundraisers we host. You can learn more about the mission and contribute at Rosie's website, rosiecenter.org.
While I care deeply about science literacy, overall education is just as important to me. I think the largest complaint I've heard from high school graduates is that the material they were taught in high school ended up being useless in the real world. Sure, you'll need Pythagorean Theorem if you pursue math if you end up going to college, but what about taxes? Everyone has to know how to do those.
It's true that a lot of schools offer electives like Personal Finance or Cooking, but no high schooler can take all of those electives. Some have the opportunity to learn home and car repair with their parents, but that's not a luxury everyone has.
I haven't seen a class that does an overview on everything life skills. So, my friend, Jessica Magnani, and I are proposing one.
Life Skills 101 is a semester long class that covers 16 topics, ranging from safety and survival to financial literacy to dealing with stress and grief to cooking healthy.
We have a fifty page in-depth proposal ready to request this class become a mandatory graduation requirement. Before that can happen, though, we need to prove to the state that this class is a good idea.
A few schools are considering piloting our class this next year, but we need as many Oregon schools on board as possible for this to work. The Deputy Superintendent of Oregon's Public Instruction is willing to help us, provided we have data and evidence that the class is worth investing in.
Interested in helping? Scroll down below.
Oregon Health Plan Initiative
Men's Bathrooms & Product Dispensaries
Ending the Luxury Tax
Be the change you
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Want to get involved with these projects?
If you're interested in Rosie, as a staff member or to just learn more, send an email to our Deputy Director, Heloise Gayet, email@example.com
If you're interested in the education initiative, click on the button below.