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Just earlier today, I was at Girls Inc. helping them prepare for the start of Eureka! camp next week. I started off by collecting all the materials that we had previously listed as necessary for the camp curricula. I was then asked to help assemble boxes that each facilitator will be carrying with them throughout the day—each box contains what is considered “essential” to the classes and campers; I sorted and packed up markers, scissors, a first aid kit, etc. One thing that shocked me about these boxes, however, was that I also sorted and packed pads and tampons into them. I was SO delightfully surprised that these were considered “essentials.”

It makes sense that an all girls’ camp would have feminine hygiene products along with first aid kids in the essentials boxes, but in my 20 years of living experience, I have never been provided with feminine care products at any camp, program, facility, etc. – I mean, it took even took Duke awhile to provide free pads and tampons in some bathrooms and sometimes restock them! However insignificant this may seem, I thought about this fact for a while. I left Girls Inc. today feeling very empowered and excited to be working for a nonprofit that has such a great and important goal. This small detail—of simply providing pads and tampons—made me wish that I had a camp like this while I was growing up, a camp where I was cared for, taught important STEM and real world lessons, and treated as the strong and intelligent woman I am.

All in all, I am so grateful and excited to be a part of Girls Inc. and the Eureka! camp. I am excited to teach these girls how to construct a homemade flashlight and get to bond and hopefully empower these girls and encourage them to pursue their own goals.