Before she graduates this December, Yvonne Barnes wanted to make her mark at UNF. Her goal was to help students, and through her own club, STEM Cares, she has been able to do just that. As a biomedical sciences student, Barnes believes she has found her niche in science. “I originally got my associate degree in culinary management, and I was going to be a restaurant manager. When I found out it wasn’t for me, I decided to go back to and pursue a degree in science,” Barnes said. This pursuit landed her a spot at UNF.
After being introduced to the Chemistry Club on campus, Barnes wanted to get involved even more. “I wanted to do something where I could leave my mark on campus but in a positive way,” Barnes said. She settled on the fact that she wanted to help students feel more welcomed in the bathrooms.
Barnes started her own club which she used as a platform to push the initiative. With no funding, Barnes spent the money she made waitressing to start the effort and later received support from Student Government. She was able to get free feminine products in six buildings on campus: Science and Engineering Building (Building 50), Skinner–Jones Hall (Building 4), Social Sciences Building (Building 51), Biological Sciences Building (Building 59), John E. Matthews Jr. Computer Science Building (Building 15) and J. Brooks Brown Hall (Building 39 and 39A). Now, Barnes was able to get her initiative passed in the Student Government Senate to switch out the mechanical dispensers for free dispensers in the six buildings.
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