Student Profile: Elif Ozturk


For Elif Ozturk, sophomore, creating change doesn’t stop at HHS. Ozturk is collaborating with the National Council of Jewish Women of Minnesota to pass legislation requiring public schools to supply free menstruation products to students in grades four through twelve.

Ozturk became increasingly frustrated with seeing students struggle to get menstrual products. Whether someone simply forgot their products at home or cannot afford them, pausing your education to ask everyone in the classroom if they have a tampon or trying to get a pass to the nurses office wasn’t a sustainable solution anymore. 

“What prompted me to start working on this Bill was how directly this issue affected me and others around me,” Ozturk said. “When you’re reminded of something so often, you want to do something  about it.” 

Many individuals are unaware of how much the lack of access to menstruation products impacts a person’s education. 

Planned Parenthood estimates that women spend an average of $13.25 each month on menstruation products, amounting to $6,263 throughout their lifetime. The implementation of these products in our school is critical, especially given Hopkins’ diverse socioeconomic student population. 

Given these statistics, Ozturk began to contact local legislators. 

“The legislative process began with reaching out to state representatives and then working with them along with senators on the language of the bill,” Ozturk said. 

With the current state of government, crafting a bill that would affect the entire state could seem like an arduous task. It took dedication, persistence, and patience in order to create this real change. 

“Creating a bill is not exactly hard, it is just painstakingly long,” Ozturk said. “There are many obstacles you have to meet and discuss with.” 

Despite the lengthy procedure and challenges that come with enacting legislation, Ozturk’s bill is set to obtain its registration number, after which it will be forwarded to the committee of jurisdiction, which will review the law. 

So far, the implementation of menstrual products at HHS has been successful and has provided those who menstruate with easily accessible products that do not interfere with one’s education. As Ozturk’s bill progresses, many will start seeing the positive change that it has on the general public’s health, and quality of education.

On February 14th, 2021, Ozturk testified in the Education Policy Committee where the bill was passed.