This month the TJ’s Women’s Empowerment Club has worked to raise awareness and grow resources in honor of Women’s History Month.
The month of March was declared Women’s History Month as an extension of March 8th being National Women’s Day. The day was born not only out of feminism, but socialism, protesting, and the long fight for labor rights. March 8th is internationally observed, and it celebrates the “global social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women,” according to the International Women’s Day website. At Thomas Jefferson High School, the Women’s Empowerment Club takes initiative and observes the month in their own way.
For Women’s History Month, the club is having a Krispy Kreme fundraiser and selling sweet treats every Friday of the month. The proceeds will go to their feminine products drive and their partnership with Period Products for Denver. Club leader, and senior, Eva Pavlik shares, “In Denver, there is a large homeless problem and we wanted to do something as a club to support specifically homeless women. We found Period Products of Denver and thought it would be more fun to make period kits rather than just giving them money so it’s more hands on.” The project raises awareness for all the women who need these hygiene products but have very little access. The club has not only begun their activity for Women’s History Month, but in December they volunteered at Florence Crittenton, a high school for pregnant and parenting teenagers, which Pavlik describes as her “favorite thing that [they] have done as a club so far.” She further adds that they helped, “organized their school store for two hours and it was such a fun way to bond as a club and also help out the high school.” This month has brought many different opportunities for the club to get involved in their community. As a feeling of excitement over the upcoming month has energized them, they still have limited time to achieve all their goals. Pavlik explains that the most important thing about the month is, “Focusing on how far women’s rights have come over the years, but also acknowledging how far we still need to progress in society with women’s rights and talking about ways that we can help with working towards gender equality.” She and the club also see the need to bring awareness and more support to the women in the LGBTQ+ community as well.
There are plenty of members in the Women’s Empowerment club who want to make a difference. It has continued to grow at TJ, especially since the COVID-19 year, and it has given a lot of young women a place to voice their opinions and feel safe. Another member, freshman, Amaris Medina shares, “This club gives me an outlet to express my opinion and also make a difference in our community. I didn’t know what to expect coming into this club, [but] it has definitely exceeded my expectations and provided me with a safe space I never knew I needed.” The club has really offered a place for the young women at TJ, and it will only grow with the support and awareness they nurture. When asked about what Women’s History meant to her. Medina said, “Women’s History Month is for learning about our past but it is also a time to acknowledge the inequality we still have and come together to try and battle it and create change.” There are still a lot of different issues that are important and need attention, but it is equally important to celebrate the past victories, and the trail blazers that sacrificed a lot to get to where women are today.
The club was created very recently, and club sponsor and teacher Laura Prow shared how excited she was when students asked her to be their sponsor. She said, “I love the empowerment that this group offers not only our TJ community but outside of the TJ community as well.” The club not only has amazing members that care about educating the community and enriching the lives of the young women and men in the club, but has many adults that chose to be a part of the movement. When asked about what she feels is the most important thing about Women’s History Month, Prow expressed that she could not pick only one, but found, “the awareness of past and current fight for equality” extremely important. It is very encouraging to see such a strong club emerge in such a small period of time, and there is no doubt it will continue to grow in each passing year.