Ridge High School’s GirlUp Club: Aims, Accomplishments, and Ambitions


Aarya Raval '25

“Period poverty”, according to the Journal of Global Health Reports, is defined as “a lack of access to menstrual products, hygiene facilities, waste management, and education”. Over 66% of low-income females report being unable to afford period products. Because of how widespread this issue is, the UN founded a new organization called “GirlUp”  (https://girlup.org/), which attempts to help underprivileged people by providing easier access to period products and striving towards women’s empowerment.

Due to the organization’s effectiveness, GirlUp has expanded into high schools all across the nation. Ridge GirlUp is one of the 5,000 GirlUp chapters across the United States. This article will focus on Ridge High School’s contributions to this popular non-profit organization. 

Ridge High School’s GirlUp club was founded in 2021 and has thrived ever since. Its members  continue to conduct fundraisers, drives, and awareness campaigns on women’s issues. But how do they go about raising these funds? In 2021, the club worked with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a welfare program that provides food stamps to lower-class communities. These food stamps help lessen the cost of food, electricity, mortgage payments, and more. In 2021, the Ridge High School GirlUp Club conducted a Pad/Tampon Drive with donations going to the Hoboken Food Pantry. This drive was immensely successful and the members of the club collected an abundance of menstrual products to donate to the center.  Along with this pad/tampon drive, the members of Ridge GirlUp also unleashed their creative sides through drawing Henna Tattoos for those interested. This event occurred at the 2022 Ridge High School Annual Tailgate on October 14, 2022, and the fundraiser amassed around $60.

The hard work of Ridge High School’s GirlUp Club did not end there. At the moment, the club is holding a Menstrual Product Drive that lasts from January 18, 2023 to March 10th, 2023. Products for this major drive can be dropped off in the Atrium, the PAC, the New Gym, and the Main Entrance. In all of these locations, there will be a box labeled with the flier pictured below. I encourage all of you reading this to contribute to the drive in order to support the club, support the organization, and most importantly, support underprivileged people. If you are interested, please drop off an unopened box of pads or tampons into one of the aforementioned locations! Ridge GirlUp has worked in collaboration with Ridge Democrats and Ridge Feminism in order to further advance and advertise this fundraiser. Following the conclusion of the fundraiser, all the products will be accumulated and donated to the Hoboken Food Pantry. 

As a member of the club myself, I can attest that this club has contributed nothing but positivity to my life. That’s why I would encourage anyone interested to join, and invite their friends along with them! It helps a great cause, explores issues that are sometimes swept under the rug, and connects you to a community of like-minded individuals. 

Jaidyn Riley, a Ridge High School sophomore and member of Ridge GirlUp claims that,  “GirlUp Club has brought me so much joy in terms of unity, initiative, and a space to help and support other members and non-members. This club reminds me of how youth can have such a big part in everyday issues and solutions to those issues, and it is really a beautiful thing.”

If that wasn’t convincing enough, Ridge GirlUp prioritizes the futures of the members in the club, so we plan to invite qualified guest speakers to speak on issues, such as entering  male-dominated fields as a woman. If this topic interests you, then I would highly recommend that you join the club and get involved, so that you can take away the wonderful insights from these types of events! Finally, it is important to emphasize that while this is a club made to help underprivileged women, that doesn’t mean you have to be a woman to join! People of any gender are welcomed and actually encouraged to join, since getting different perspectives is always important. 

The student representatives of the Ridge GirlUp have been working very hard with the teacher advisor, Ms. Hashem, to further the organization’s mission. The other Ridge GirlUp members and I hope that you all recognize this and choose to support our initiatives by donating menstrual products (by March 10th), or by joining the club! If you have any questions or concerns, please DM @ridge_girlup on Instagram, join our Google Classroom (code: NFPPWW6), or send an email to any of the following:

<[email protected]>,  <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>, <[email protected]>.

Last years’ club members visiting the Hoboken Food Pantry to donate products!