Student-driven idea comes to fruition at FMHS

Student-driven idea comes to fruition through FHW-D51 partnership
Posted on 10/25/2021
Adele Foley standing next to Aunt Flow product dispenser

Fruita, CO - As a senior at Fruita Monument High School, Adele Foley wanted to make a lasting impact on her school before graduating. Ever since giving a report on the Pink Tax (a reference to menstrual product pricing) as a sophomore, she has taken an interest in helping everyone have access to menstrual products. 

"It baffles me that it's such a taboo topic - no one mentions that it is a need, so no one does anything about it. Hopefully this will bring up more conversation," Adele said.

Like many students, she had experience with that moment when you realize you don’t have a menstrual product when you need one, nor change to get one out of an antiquated dispenser in the bathroom. After learning that the Fruita Monument teachers, office staff, and health aides were often giving out products that they bought using their own money, she began researching ways to help. 

Adele, the daughter of a Family Health West physician, and McClaskey contacted Family Health West about a sponsorship opportunity. She wrote a plan and worked with FMHS Principal Todd McClaskey to find a community donor to create long-lasting and impactful change for students who struggled to afford menstrual products (or just didn’t have them on hand when they needed one). She secured a $3,200 financial donation from FHW, which enabled FMHS to purchase four dispensers, 4,500 pads and 4,500 tampons. 

“For us, this sponsorship is an investment in a student who had a vision. An investment in something that has tangible improvement in our community,” Eric Mello, Marketing Director at Family Health West, said. “The mission of Adele in this project matches our mission of imagining a better community, one change at a time.”

The dispensers are made by a company called Aunt Flow and are stocked with 100% organic cotton products, provided at no cost to the students. To prevent overuse and vandalism, particularly after this fall’s “Devious Licks” challenge, the dispensers will only release one product at a time every 10 seconds, and they hold a limited amount of product. 

Fruita Monument Principal Todd McClaskey said he was happy to help Adele realize her vision.

“I’m extremely proud of Adele for taking action to make a positive impact for our students ,” Mr. McClaskey said. “It’s one thing to see a need, it’s another to take action and make a difference. That’s the mindset we want for our students. We are also very grateful to Family Health West for their support and generosity.”

This project was envisioned, researched, and executed by a student with an eye for improvement and a heart for humanitarianism. Now when Adele applies to colleges she uses this project to highlight her innovation, community involvement, and passion for bettering her surroundings. She also hopes that students in the other district high schools will find community partners to implement the same positive change in those schools. 

“It’s my senior year and I want to leave an impact on this school,” Adele said.

Adele went on to say her fellow students have been very supportive of her working on this project and she has received a lot of support from the school administration, and that she already has younger friends ready to take over the project when she graduates.

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