Women’s Empowerment Is in the Right(s)

The Women’s Empowerment Club has been here at Apopka for 2 years now. The President and founder, Anna LaMay, made many changes to the school last year. As many may or may not have noticed there are baskets in each classroom that contain feminine products such as pads and tampons. This year, Anna hopes to “replenish those baskets for teachers who need it, but I also hope to get them in other schools across OCPS.”

Mr. Blevins, the sponsor for The Women’s Empowerment Club, is proud of how the school has handled the change, mentioning, “I think they’ve done awesome work in knocking that down and now it’s just part of our culture at Apopka, people don’t even talk about it. It’s been kind of amazing to me how people have adapted to having the little baskets in the room, with the [feminine products].” The purpose of these baskets is to be “accessible to everybody regardless of income level,” continues Blevins. The Women’s Empowerment Club strives to assist women here at Apopka, while also giving them a voice. You can see many of the club members participating in marches regarding women’s rights.

The Women’s Empowerment Club preparing the baskets

The Women’s Empowerment Club started back up again shortly after Hurricane Ian, “We had a huge turnout with the meeting the other day, we had almost 35 people show up,” says Blevins. They may not have many plans as of now, but they do have some large goals. After the success of the baskets in classes and marches they participated in last year, there are a lot of expectations for what The Women’s Empowerment Club is going to do differently this year. Blevins mentioned, “We’re going to try and move forward this year to continue to bring attention to women’s equality issues and the idea that a woman’s place in this world is right alongside [that] of men.” The Women’s Empowerment Club also hopes to bring awareness to important issues related to women, such as, “period astigmatism, poverty, breast cancer awareness, women’s health, and political struggles,” lists Anna. She also feels the club is “a safe space where we can talk about women’s issues relating to this nation and the world today.”

Now that the club is celebrating 2 years of being a part of this school, it’s time to learn how exactly they came about. Anna LaMay recalls how she came up with the idea of the club, “During COVID, being able to have a place to go to and have fun with others who have a similar mindset to your own and will be supportive was really difficult. Therefore, I created this club to offer an opportunity to get our minds off the situation and just have fun with others. It then morphed into a club with both an emphasis on providing a safe environment to talk as well as a focus on service projects.” Along with Blevins already being “somebody who’s been interested in issues of equality for women, not just here in the United States but also in the world. So, it sounded like something I would be really interested in [doing].” Anna thought he would be fitting as the clubs’ sponsor. The Women’s Empowerment Club has a bright future ahead of them, with new plans and new ways to not only give women a voice here at APK, but also in the world.

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