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Fifty teams from across the state traveled to Lake Washington High School for this year’s Washington State VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) Championship on March 13. Twelve spots were open to teams who wanted to move onto the next big competition. Out of those 12 spots, six teams with LWSD students secured their position at the 2022 VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas, Texas, May 5-7, 2022.

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    Juanita High student helping women in need receive important supplies they require


    Ria Mohan - JHS

    Ria Mohan, junior at Juanita High School, has been busy. As part of project for her work with Future Health Professionals (also known as HOSA), Ria interviewed people at 17 homeless shelters to gather data on available feminine products. Overall, she found that these shelters only have enough to supply women with these items one or two times a month, or even just once a year. In a research poster Ria created, she reached this conclusion: To better serve women experiencing homelessness, people need to 1) donate menstrual products to improve hygiene 2) destigmatize menstruation so that women feel comfortable asking for help and 3) raise awareness on social media and online, as well as educate women experiencing homelessness in order to protect their health. 

    Ria partnered with Seattle T2P2 on this project, which is titled “How Can the Menstrual Health of Women & Teens in Homeless Shelters be Improved?” Seattle T2P2 is a local organization focused on meeting the menstrual needs of homeless women. The project was submitted as part of a HOSA event and Ria won first place at the HOSA State Leadership Conference. She also won first place at the HOSA International Leadership Conference.

    In an interview with Seattle T2P2, Ria talks about how we can take action to help solve this problem: One thing that everyone can do to help solve this problem is talk about it. Harmful stigma surrounding menstruation has made it an overlooked issue for far too long. It’s not disgusting, it’s not a sign of weakness, it’s not something that needs covering up or secrecy. It happens to almost every woman on a monthly basis. The other thing that people can do is donate. I found that many believe only pads or tampons are helpful, so they don’t seek to donate anything else. However, women on menstrual cycles are always in need of clothes especially undergarments, soap, heating pads, medication, leak protection, and much, much more.

    Read more about Ria’s project and see the research poster