Our

Origins and
Objectives

Origins and
Our Team

OUR MISSION

The Pad Project’s mission is to create and cultivate local and global partnerships to end period stigma and to empower women and all menstruators worldwide.

OUR STORY: THE CAMPAIGN

The Pad Project was started in 2013 by a youth-driven community of students and educators convinced that menstruation matters for everyone. What began as a documentary film project highlighting a single village has expanded to an organization with global reach. In 2019, that documentary film, Period. End of Sentence., won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short, and since then, The Pad Project has continued to grow.

We’ve placed 9 pad machines in 2 countries and are working to place 7 more pad machines in 4 countries. We’ve launched 8 washable pad programs in 6 countries and are working to launch another washable pad program soon! In the U.S., we’ve started two programs to combat period poverty: Pads for All and Pads for Schools. So far, we’ve partnered with 10 NGOs and grassroots organizations in 8 states and 5 schools and school districts in 4 states to provide menstrual products to those in need. We also launched The Pad Project’s Ambassador Program, which is designed to unite menstrual equity activists around the world!

Meet the team

behind the movement

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Executive Director

Melissa Berton English Teacher, Writer, Speaker

CFO

Bob Gatto Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Business Development, Nestle

COO

Garrett Schiff Writer, Producer

Secretary

Anissa Siegel Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Artist

General Board Member

Bonnie Abaunza Social Impact Producer, Human Rights Activist

General Board Member

Dr. Tamyra Comeaux M.D.

General Board Member

Nicole Sharma Jain Education Policy Advocate and Advisor

General Board Member

Stacey Sher Film Producer

General Board Member

Lisa Taback Vice President of Awards & Talent Relations, Netflix

General Board Member

Rayka Zehtabchi Film Director

ADVISORY BOARD: Oakwood High School Graduates

Sophie Aschiem  Yale University

was an executive producer on the film, Period. End of Sentence., and a founding member of The Pad Project. A member of the class of 2022 at Yale University, she hopes to major in Global Affairs.

Carly Gatto  University of Michigan

was  an executive producer on the film, Period. End of Sentence., and has been a part of the Pad Project since 2014. She currently studies nursing at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor class of 2022.

Natalie Geismar  Washington University in Saint Louis

was an associate producer on the film, Period. End of Sentence., and a founding member of the Pad Project. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2019, where she earned her B.A. in International Development.

Alden Sabah Scripps College

has  been a member of The Pad Project since 2017 and is majoring in Gender Studies at Scripps College, class of 2022.

Ruby Schiff  Kenyon College

was an executive producer on the film, Period. End of Sentence., and a founding member of the Pad Project. She double majors in Women & Gender Studies and Psychology at Kenyon College, class of 2021. 

Avery Siegel  Tulane University

was an executive producer on the film, Period. End of Sentence., and a founding member of The Pad Project. She is majoring in communications and double minoring in Public Health and Social Innovation at Tulane University, class of 2021.

Charlotte Silverman  Brown University

was a co-founder and liaison to Action India on the Pad Project, as well as an executive producer on Period. End of Sentence..She studies Visual Arts, Urban Studies, and Gender/Sexuality Studies at Brown University class of 2022.

Claire Sliney  University of Pennsylvania

was an executive producer on the film, Period. End of Sentence., and a founding member of The Pad Project. She double majors in Philosophy, Politics & Economics and Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, class of 2021. 

Helen Yenser Scripps ‘17, University of Southern California MFA ‘19, Cinematic Arts

was an executive producer on the film, Period. End of Sentence., and a founding member of The Pad Project. Now a graduate of Scripps College, where she earned her B.A. in Honors English, and a graduate of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, where she earned her M.F.A. in Writing for Film & Television, Helen writes about women whose self-transformation challenges society to change.

YOUTH ADVISORY BOARD: Current Oakwood Students

Dorothea ‘21, Lila ’21, Maia ‘21, Mason ‘21, Alex ‘21, Emma ‘22, Maggie ‘22, Naomi L. ‘22, Naomi Z.’22

OUR STAFF

Melissa Berton Executive Director, Los Angeles

melissaberton@thepadproject.org

Sorelle Cohen Director of Development, Marketing & Communications, Los Angeles

sorelle@thepadproject.org

Deepika Rana Global Lead of Program and Outreach, New Delhi, India

deepika@thepadproject.org

Tanya Mahajan Strategy and Program Specialist, New Delhi, India

tanya@thepadproject.org

Rachel Wilson Associate Director of Domestic Programs, Los Angeles

rachel@thepadproject.org

Nicolette Harutunian Education and Outreach Coordinator, Los Angeles

nicolette@thepadproject.org

Avery Siegel Community Outreach and Social Media Coordinator, Los Angeles

avery@thepadproject.org

Claire Sliney Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator, Los Angeles

claire@thepadproject.org

Sophie Ascheim Strategic Partnerships Coordinator, Los Angeles

sophie@thepadproject.org