Voice Recognition

Licking Heights Local School District News Article

HS Students Tackle Poverty with Global Scholars Project

Two Licking Heights juniors are acting locally and thinking globally, thanks to the Global Scholars Diploma program.

Students Natalie Ampadu and Ali West presented their final projects for their Global Scholars Diploma at the Take Action Fair on April 16 at Otterbein University, along with 135 other students from across the region. Ampadu was also selected to speak about her project on a panel led by Angela An, news anchor from WBNS-10TV.

Both Ampadu and West chose to tackle issues of poverty with their projects–Ampadu selected period poverty, and West selected sports poverty.

While Ampadu initially joined the Global Scholars program because of her interest in environmental issues, she eventually developed a passion for making feminine hygiene products available for all students, especially those who came from a low-income background.

“In the past, I’ve had to ask people for products, but I come from a privileged background where I can have them at home. It made me think about how this is not a reality for other people, and prompted me to do more research, specifically in our school,” Ampadu says. “There is a feeling of embarrassment around menstruation, even if you come from a privileged background. If someone doesn’t have products, it can feel even more shameful.”

Thanks to recent funding from the state of Ohio, Licking Heights was able to purchase feminine hygiene products to distribute in communal spaces for students in need. Ampadu worked alongside Director of Pupil Services Mitch Tom to promote awareness of the free products across the district. She connected her project to her global studies by researching period poverty, stigmas and hygiene around the world, and presented her findings to her peers. She hopes to continue her advocacy and awareness work at both the high school and middle school next year.

“Some girls may not even have information about menstruation,” she says. “Having access to products and information will make them more comfortable.”

West says her project was borne out of her love for sports and desire to make physical fitness accessible for all people. She currently plays varsity softball at Heights and is committed to play Division 1 softball at Valparaiso University after graduating. Previously, she played basketball and volleyball, too.

“A lot of people in Licking County experience poverty. I do a lot of sports and so often when I tell people to try out with me they say they can’t afford it or need a job to pay for other things besides sports,” West says. “Nobody knows that people are struggling with sports poverty.”

West enlisted the help of her community, collecting gently used athletic equipment to provide her peers with the opportunity to play golf, volleyball, softball and baseball. She ultimately collected over $3,000 worth of essential equipment.

“I believe that everyone needs physical activity–it's required for a healthy body,” West says. “Everyone should be able to experience the same joy I do when I play sports.”

The Global Scholars Program is an experiential student program through the Columbus Council on World Affairs. It is a three-year program open to all Central Ohio school districts, and provides students with the opportunity to network with local global community leaders, learn about cultures and current global issues, and complete their own project to solve an issue of their choice.

Each district has a staff member who recruits students to the collaborative program. Amy Obhof, world history teacher at Licking Heights High School, served as the on-campus advisor for Ampadu and West.

Obhof says the Global Scholars Program provides students with the opportunity to broaden their horizons when considering a career and teaches them valuable life skills. Students are even eligible to earn scholarships through the Columbus Council of World Affairs and a $19,000 renewable scholarship at Otterbein University.

“Students learn about people from all over the world, careers that could have them traveling and working with diverse groups of people and current global issues. They learn how to work with others, including cooperating with organizations, communication skills and make great friends along the way,” Obhof says. “What the students accomplish in their three years of the program is absolutely amazing and I am continuously in awe of and am so proud of them.”

Print This Article

Licking Heights Local School District

6539 Summit Road Pataskala, OH 43062
P: 740-927-6926 | F: 740-927-9043

Licking Heights High School (9-12)

4101 Summit Road Pataskala, OH 43062
P: 740-964-9005 | F: 740-927-0508

Licking Heights Middle School (7-8)

4000 Mink Street Pataskala, OH 43062
P: 740-927-9046 | F: 740-927-3197

Central Intermediate (5-6)

6565 Summit Road Pataskala, OH 43062
P: 740-927-3365 | F: 740-927-5845

South Elementary (1-4)

6623 Summit Road Pataskala, OH 43062
P: 740-964-1674 | F: 740-964-1625

West Elementary (1-4)

1490 Climbing Fig Blacklick, OH 43004
P: 614-864-9089 | F: 614-501-4672

North Elementary (K)

6507 Summit Road Pataskala, OH 43062
P: 740-927-3268 | F: 740-927-5736

Central Preschool

6565 Summit Road Pataskala, OH 43062
P: (740) 927-3268

© 2024. All Rights Reserved.
View text-based website