Castle, Reitz upperclassmen share YR’s March Youth of the Month awards


By Jeremy Brown

A project with global implications and a mission to assist individuals fleeing unhealthy relationships have resulted in three outstanding young ladies sharing Youth Resources’ March Youth of the Month honor.

Castle students Audrey Watson and Sophie Fanok, along with Reitz senior Abby Mueller, have all made significant, tangible impact through their service and share YR’s March award.

Watson, a junior, and Fanok, a senior, launched their Pads For Progress initiative in conjunction with Days For Girls.

“(Sophie) and I were complaining about period pains one night,” said Watson. “We were talking about how we have all these products readily available to us and thought, ‘What about the girls who don’t have these?’”

The best friends sprung into action immediately, researching feminine hygiene solutions for under-resourced areas around the world. They met with their youth group director at Newburgh United Methodist, Emma Loane, the following day after school, to put together an action plan for helping girls in need.

Pads For Progress’ mission is to raise awareness about feminine hygiene solutions worldwide, remove the negative stigma regarding menstrual cycles and make 365 feminine kits that will be distributed globally through Days For Girls.

Each kit contains eight trifold pads, two moisture barrier shields, two pairs of underwear, two gallon-sized ziplock bags, a washcloth, soap, visual step-by-step instructions to eliminate language barriers and a drawstring bag. Watson and Fanok estimate that each kit will last an average of three years for the women that receive them.

The duo has fundraised over $400 for Pads For Progress and has already gathered enough materials to assemble 100 feminine kits. To assist their efforts, email

As part of her senior service project, Mueller created a Job Search Resource Book for Albion Fellows Bacon Center clients. Mueller’s book provided tips for how to conduct oneself, answer questions and how to dress during interviews, highlighted key “do’s and don’ts” and included empowering quotes to give readers encouragement as they seek employment.

Mueller obtained a Make A Difference Grant from YR to fund the printing of her books and delivered them to Albion last month.

“Often times, individuals fleeing an unhealthy or abusive relationship do not have a job due to the fact that financial abuse can accompany domestic violence,” said Rachel Gumble, Albion’s Community Engagement Director. “As a result, our clients are in need of a job to be able to become self-sufficient.  Abby’s resource book provides our clients with a tangible mechanism that assists them with obtaining employment.”

Jeremy Brown is the TEENPOWER, Special Events & Communications Coordinator at Youth Resources.