NYU Women’s Soccer Embarks on a “Padded” Project with SHE

Guest post by Sophie Frank, a freshman at New York University and goalkeeper on the Varsity Soccer Team

When you are on a team with thirty other females, there is no way to evade the topic of PERIODS. Menstrual cycles fall in and hormones are rampant. It was not until NYU Women’s Soccer worked with Sustainable Health Enterprises, however, that we were exposed to a new perspective on the dreaded topic of menstruation. We gathered in the conference room at Coles Sports Center on campus and listened to SHE founder, Elizabeth Scharpf and SHE strategy director, Connie Lewin, explain the gaping need for women in Rwanda to have better access to and education about menstruation and menstruation resources. Elizabeth and Connie inspired us with their description of the sustainable business SHE has innovated: creating jobs, opening doors, and providing necessary health resources to passionate and intelligent women in Rwanda. We knew we had to do more.

As busy college students, we wanted to make sure that we were able to do something meaningful, and would serve SHE directly. We went to the drawing board, and in doing so, we learned a lot about how we can wield our common femininity to both empathize with and be empowered by the female population that SHE28 targets. After doing research and learning more about SHE28, we identified that we would make the biggest difference by raising awareness and fundraising. Putting our creative energies to work, we baked tasty treats and colored eye catching posters. We then hosted a bake sale at the same sports center where we were first inspired by the SHE28 mission. Although we did not raise enough to propel SHE28 into a future of easy investing, we brought this topic–of women who lack proper materials for menstruation–to the attention of our peers. Cookies for a cause. NYU women’s soccer is grateful to have had the opportunity to learn more about such a great entrepreneurial pursuit and important cause. We hope to have made a difference with our team’s #smallthing and we hope to do more work with SHE28 in the future.