A Step Into the Future

Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

“Ladies please stop throwing tampons around the locker room!”

These words bounced off the dimly lit walls like the fluorescent lights above us. Thirty seventh graders paused the weekly ritual of cramming their Ugg boots into chipped maroon lockers to listen to what our gym teacher had to complain about this time. Sixty eyes rolled at every mention of “disrespecting school property” and “taxpayer dollars down the drain” and “do you even realize that some girls don’t have access to these sanitary supplies?”

Pause. Even my juvenile thirteen year old self could understand the weight behind that last question. There were boxes in the front office of my middle school requesting donations for various causes, one of them being a Philadelphia women's shelter. Tampons were on the list of urgent needs for this shelter, and we were throwing them around like footballs.

Fast forward four years. I was a junior in high school, walking through Philadelphia with friends on a weekend morning. A swarm of people congregated in front of a building on the corner of 12th and Locust street. Upon further inspection, I realized that the building was a Planned Parenthood site, and the flock of individuals were comprised of nervous-looking women attempting...

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