top of page

Wenese GearyReserve Officers' Training Corps student rallies campus to offer free feminine hygiene products 

“I had a lot of love from the alumni,” Geary said. “Alumni at HBCUs love giving back.” -

Wenese Geary is on a mission. As Miss Sophomore and Miss ROTC, she has taken it upon herself to ensure that Marauders have access to feminine hygiene products whenever they need them, without having to worry about the costs.

Geary held a month-long donation drive in February to prepare for Women's History Month, and the response was overwhelming. 

Hailing from Detroit and raised in nearby Clinton Township, Michigan, Geary is majoring in criminal justice and has signed on as a contracted soldier for eight years with the United States Army after she graduates from college. 

“I’ve always been passionate about social justice, protesting, and fighting for civil rights,” she said. “When George Floyd died, I helped to push change. My auntie has a nonprofit to help Detroiters get registered to vote.

“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after high school. I never thought about college. I thought I would go straight into the military. I didn’t think I was smart enough to get into college, and I knew I wanted to be a part of something honorable. But then I got accepted to all (five) colleges I applied for,” Geary continued.

Ultimately, she chose Central State because of its ROTC program. It was also the only Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to which she applied.

The idea to hold a feminine hygiene product drive blossomed from an experience she had visiting the Central State Police pantry to pick up snacks. 

“I saw a Bahamian student getting feminine hygiene products,” she said. “International students cannot get jobs here (in the United States due to Visa restrictions). So, I wondered how they could pay for these things.”

Being an HBCU queen, Geary realized that community service and giving back were her calling, and she started thinking about what she could do to help. Donations poured in from all over the campus. Thanks to the Amazon registry, donors could send the products purchased through Amazon straight to Central State. With major support from alumni, students, faculty, and staff, the drive was a huge success. 

“I had a lot of love from the alumni,” Geary said. “Alumni at HBCUs love giving back.”

Geary believes that feminine hygiene products should be accessible to all. She had many awkward conversations with her male peers, asking them to donate to the drive. It opened the conversation and helped reduce the stigma around menstruation. 

Geary's message is clear: if you care about women, if you love women, it should just be a normal conversation.

“We’re women, and this happens every month. The guys don’t know much about it. They just know that we’re bleeding, but we also cramp and go through pains. If I go through this and you’re my partner or friend, you need to hear about it. For women, we all go through this. Your mom is a woman; your sisters are women.”

Altogether, the drive resulted in 1,570 donated pads, 400 panty liners, 264 tampons, reusable pads, feminine wipes, and more. With financial contributions, Geary purchased a small vending machine that offers free products in Williamson Hall. The products were distributed at the beginning of March at the University Student Center and each dorm.

In addition to the donation drive and student pantries, students and community members can access free feminine hygiene products at the monthly Mobile Food Market Community Marketplace supported by Central State, the Dayton Foodbank, and other community partners. 

The mobile food market is offered from 1:30-2:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the Norman E. Ward Center parking lot. 

For information about the Mobile Food Market, contact Clare Thorn at 937-376-6627 or; or Brian Kampman at 937-376-6268 or

Ongoing donations may be dropped off at the Student Health Center, University Police Department, or Room 213F in Newsom Administration Building. Donations may be mailed to: 


The Reporter Newspaper
bottom of page