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Alabama 14-year-old twins fight for women’s empowerment, menstrual equity

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In between schoolwork, Wednesday night church and other typical activities for 14-year-old twins, Brooke and Breanna Bennett work alongside their mother to run their own nonprofit, Women In Training. (Jake Crandall/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

By The Associated Press 

In between schoolwork, Wednesday night church and other typical activities for 14-year-old twins, Brooke and Breanna Bennett work alongside their mother to run their own nonprofit, Women In Training.

The twin sisters founded the organization two years ago to provide menstrual products to people who can’t afford them, and with the help of their growing team, the nonprofit has expanded its initiatives to include women’s empowerment and advocacy for menstrual equity.

Numerous organizations have honored the Bennetts for their nonprofit work — from T-Mobile to Procter & Gamble — but their latest award names them as two of the most inspiring young people across the U.S. and Canada.

The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes recently announced its 2021 winners, and while it traditionally honors 25 outstanding leaders under the age of 18, there are two duos included this year, bringing the total to 27.

Brooke and Breanna will each receive a $5,000 prize, and both sisters said they were excited about the award.

“We want to see more girls volunteering, more girls our age, volunteering and wanting to get involved in Women In Training or just community service in their areas,” Breanna said. “I just hope me and Brooke have inspired other people our age to do whatever good they see in their community.”

Women in Training’s central service is handing out “WIT kits,” bags that include menstrual, hygiene and dental products. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, they also started to add hand sanitizer and masks to the bags.

“At first, at the giveaways when we would give away the bags and stuff — because we would do it personally — I got really excited when I saw them excited,” Brooke said. “We get the people on our board and volunteers to go around and donate the pads on a monthly basis.”

Looking forward, the twins both said they hope to continue working with the nonprofit and expanding it. Their mother, Adeyela Bennett is the CEO of Women In Training, and she said the impact of the work they are doing has continuously broadened over the past two years.

“Two things started happening: more people were asking for help, but more people were giving money. So it seems like the more people ask, the more gifts we get.”

Now, the Bennetts are looking forward to their next fundraiser, the Women In Training 5K Race to raise money that will go toward items to include in the WIT kits. The race will take place on Oct. 9 in downtown Montgomery.