She may be just 19 years old, but after speaking with Nadya Okamoto, it's pretty clear she is going to change the world.
As the founder of PERIOD, a youth-run global non-profit, she's leaving her mark on the world by helping one woman at a time. And this summer, Tampax helped her organization to do even more by donating 1 million tampons across the country in 30 days -- including over 250 thousand to PERIOD alone.
And for Nadya, it all stemmed from her own personal experience and realizing that while she was struggling with her family, she was still privileged. And it's surely that incredible strength and appreciation for what you do have, even when you're without, that has made Nadya so successful.
"I founded PERIOD when I was 16 after my family experienced living without a home of our own," Nadya explained. "It was a time when I was thinking about privilege as a spectrum."
On her way to school (which could take about two hours), she spoke with a homeless woman who was in a much worse situation than she was.
"[She] didn't have a family, access to education, or access to a chance to move back into stable living. And even though we were legally homeless and we fell into that category, my mom always made sure we had a roof over our heads and got us to school. So it's something I was thinking about: How blessed I was in that way."
So while she and her family struggled for that year, she decided that she wanted to give back. She was motivated by the stories she'd heard from many homeless women -- that they had to use toilet paper, socks, or even brown paper bags to maintain their periods.
"When we started, I was just 16 with a dream of doing something," she told us. But then the organization took off, and now she's gone from her goal of helping 20 periods a week, to 3000 a month. And with the donation from Tampax, PERIOD will be able to help nearly 6,000 women a month.sAnd not only that, but they're investing in a company run by young people, and Nadya couldn't be more excited to be honored with that support.
"I like to say that social change and politics are games to figure out how to improve our future. And if any of that change is going to be sustainable or long-lasting, you have to engage the future leaders of our world so that they can carry on that legacy."
"This company is believing in young people to carry on this legacy, and I think that's a really powerful message."