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A Year of Service

A Year of Service

During their class retreat, the Class of 2026 welcomed Ceylan Rowe, entrepreneur and founder of Fihri, to share her story of service and her commitment to ending period poverty worldwide. The 10th graders decorated and stuffed period kits to be distributed to menstruators who lack access or cannot afford period products themselves. Fihri, a nonprofit aimed at providing sustainable period products to women and girls in need throughout the world, has partnered with Turkish Airlines, which will ship the kits to a soon-to-be-determined location overseas at no cost.

Following this activity, students were led by Social Studies teacher and Global Scholars Coordinator Heather Panahi P15, 19 in the creation of Just-in-Case boxes, which will be placed in classrooms on campus should bathrooms run short on period supplies or to offer more diversity of choices. Students also designed and decorated posters, which will be hung up around campus next month to raise awareness during National Period Action Day on October 14.

During their sophomore year, Dana Hall students are required to complete 20 hours of service aiding people facing adversity. “We define adversity broadly,” says Angela Macedo, director of Community Service Programs and science teacher. “Students may work with people facing socioeconomic disparities, homelessness, domestic violence, serious illness or life-threatening diseases. They may also work with adults or children with physical, cognitive or emotional disabilities.”

Macedo organizes weekly trips to the Charles River Center in Natick and Household Goods in Acton. There are also weekly opportunities to volunteer with BINA Farm at the Karen Stives ’68 Equestrian Center and a monthly trip to Newbridge on the Charles in Dedham.

“The rationale for this graduation requirement stems from the benefit of stepping outside of our own privileged world at Dana Hall,” Macedo says. “Just by being a member of this community, we experience privilege: our meals are bountiful, our classrooms are heated and cooled, and we live in a world of opportunity. By venturing beyond the Dana bubble, students are asked to take on the perspectives of others and learn about lives that may differ from their own. Doing so creates a natural space for reflection about our own experiences and place in the world.

“Service also offers genuine leadership opportunities. My ultimate hope is that by completing the service requirement, students begin to see themselves as agents of change with the skills and knowledge to make the world a better place.”