This week’s Badass Chick is Nadya Okamoto, a Harvard freshman who has one of the most phenomenal and inspirational stories I’ve ever come across. All of her challenges lead to her creating Camions of Care, an organization which distributes feminine hygiene products to those in need.
In her early childhood, Nadya witnessed and experienced domestic abuse from her father. Shortly after her parents separated when she was 9-years-old, she moved to Portland, Oregon with her mother and two younger sisters. In the Spring of her freshman year of high school, her mother lost her job and her family experienced legal homelessness, several months of couch-surfing with their closest friends who have since become family. Nadya later experienced sexual assault, but never wavered in her studies; she somehow managed to sit on a bus for about two hours, each way, just to get to the private school she attended on scholarship.
One weekend, just as her family was settling back into a new home, Nadya visited a women’s shelter to help cope with her assault. There, she concluded how common it was that homeless women often do not have the feminine hygiene products they need. Something just clicked for Nadya; in that moment, she felt she had found her calling and was determined to help these women. Very beautifully, her healing process began as well.
Nadya founded Camions of Care, which distributes feminine products to those in need and engages youth leadership on a national scale. Her organization began distributing 20 packages per week by hand, then it increased to 40 and is now at 1,500 monthly. Camions of Care now distributes globally and works with fellow college students all across the us; there are already 38 chapters working towards the cause and have collectively addressed over 25,000 periods in the last two years.
Words can’t describe how impressed I am with Nadya, and my summary here won’t do her story justice, so I highly suggest you learning more about her here and here. I am in awe of how she was able to overcome some of the most difficult challenges life has to offer, and her passion helped her heal as a person. She is a remarkable person, a true Badass Chick.
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