When I first got to Pitt, I was overwhelmed with all of the opportunities newly available to me and by all of the activities and projects people were involved in. Everyone appeared to be so put together and seemed to have a sort of “passion project” that motivated them. It took me a while to find mine, but I have been fortunate enough to initiate a project that has brought me countless other opportunities.
My biggest—and proudest—accomplishment has been my work with gender equality in education. Through working with two organizations, Global Medical Brigades and Days for Girls, I have been able to carry out a project that aims to partner with communities in Honduras to sew and deliver reusable feminine hygiene products. These kits have all necessary feminine health products, and last up to 10 years. I started the project the summer of 2018 after going to Honduras and talking with local women about period poverty, especially in education. We set a goal for the next year to fund and bring disposable products to gage community’s interest, which, through fundraising, grants, and donations, we were able to succeed with. For the past year, I have worked with both organizations and with women in Honduras to fund 100 of the reusable kits to be sent to girls in communities this summer. We have held weekly virtual volunteering sessions to sew the kits while also encouraging club members to complete training in women’s health and certifications in proper kit distribution. The long-term goal of the project is to set up sustainable, self-sufficient centers in Honduras that employ women to sew the kits and individual replacement pieces.
The project has brought me so many opportunities and interests, from studying abroad to a fellowship with the United Nations to taking courses on public health, Spanish, education, and sustainability. But overall, it has given me something I am passionate about, and a way to feel more connected to my Pitt and global community. My own education has been a very important part of my life, and going forward, I know that my excitement for and dedication to encouraging and supporting women in their educational pursuits will be something I incorporate into every job and position I hold. Finding that passion project can be difficult and elusive, but it’s entirely worth it once you have it and make it a reality.