//PeriodsOptional – improve women’s lives, prevent cancer

PeriodsOptional – improve women’s lives, prevent cancer

Meeting for the week of March 30 – April 05, 2020

This Meeting at a Glance:

Program: PeriodsOptional – improve women’s lives, prevent cancer

Speaker: Sophia Yen

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our weekly online meeting! To complete our meeting, please continue reading from here to the bottom of this page.

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 60 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

Note that you can easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you. Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!

To properly attend this meeting, please:

  1. Read and watch the content below in its entirety.
  2. Complete the attendance survey.

Everyone is also encouraged to leave a comment in the Disqus section at the bottom of the page.

Table of Contents

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Here’s a message from Brigitte Bollerslev, Tzviatko Chiderov, Heather Edwards, Cecelia Babkirk, and Rushton Hurley:

Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley – Greeting for the Week of March 30, 2020

Brigitte Bollerslev, Tzviatko Chiderov, Heather Edwards, Cecelia Babkirk, and Rushton Hurley.

Guests, we are happy to have you join us this week!

As we see it, our flexibility as an online, asynchronous club allows a special type of service to Rotarians around the world: we make it easier for anyone to strive for and maintain 100% attendance. That keeps you engaged with Rotary’s events and ideas, and provides a moment of inspiration for devoting your creativity, talents, and resources to good causes.

You are certainly not required to pay anything in order to attend our meetings. However, if you would like to make a small contribution to our service efforts, you are welcome to do so in our secure Happy Dollars section down the page. This could be what you normally pay at your own club’s meetings for lunch, for example. Any amount is welcome, but first and foremost, we’re happy you’ve joined us, and hope you will share with others who we are and what we do to help inspire Service Above Self.

And don’t forget to fill out our attendance form so you get an email you can pass on to your club’s secretary!

The Four Way Test

The Four-Way Test is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships.

Of the things we think, say or do

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Rotary's Four-Way Test

Members of the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley from around the world

🎂 🎈 🎉 🎁 🍾
Happy Birthday!!

Kenneth Oku (Apr 3)
Sandy Stabile (Apr 5)

From around the world,
Wishing you all the best, on your birthday and always!

🎂 🎈 🎉 🎁 🍾

Members and guests, consider donating in their honor in our Happy Dollars section below.

Weekly Funny with the Lady of Laughter (LOL)

We believe laughter is an important part of life, and we should all make time to laugh a little. This segment of our meeting is meant to tickle you just enough. These funnies are curated by member Yvonne Kwan, our “Lady of Laughter!”

With more time at home, I’ve caved and jumped on the Animal Crossing bandwagon. Which also means I’ve been virtually fishing a lot, so here are some fishy jokes to get you swimming through the week!

What is the best way to get in touch with a fish?
Drop it a line!

How does a squid go into battle?

What did the shark say after eating a clownfish?
This tastes a little funny!


Weekly Inspiration

Every week we start our meetings with a short video highlighting innovation, inspiration, entrepreneurship, or social change.

There is tile everywhere you turn in Lisbon. It is part of the fabric of the city—an architectural and aesthetic feature covering houses, churches and train stations. Not surprisingly, the oldest working tile factory in Portugal is situated in the country’s famously tile-clad capital. Founded in 1741, the Sant’Anna factory has survived earthquakes, wars and fires. To this day, the company’s artisans still produce tile by hand using traditional techniques.

The Art of Crafting Portuguese Tiles



Member  Spotlight

This week’s Member Spotlight is Nate Gildart! Here is what they have been up to lately:

It’s been a wild time for everyone globally but things in Japan are relatively calm, for the time being. I’ve been teaching online for the last few weeks and will do so into April. I’m duly impressed with my students and their resilience. And it’s been heartening to see the international media sharing stories of the random acts of kindness happening around the globe. It shows our humanity and the people are indeed inherently good. I’m trying to play my part by sharing my experiences and resources online with teachers in my professional learning network via social media.

Teaching online with a revised school schedule has given me a little more time to catch up on my own things, believe it or not. My band finished recording a new album recently so we’re waiting on the distributors to finish processing it. It’s taken longer than the last album but we’re satisfied with the result. Rock on, eh. I’ve got some work on my developing website for Social studies teachers and students, called Social Studies samurai. (a work-in-progress for sure: www.socialstudiessamurai.com/) More importantly, Yuka and I have had a little more time together. We checked out some old Castle Ruins that go back to the time of the Warring States Period in Japan, with a strong connection to Oda Nobunaga, one of the three “unifiers” that contributed to the eventual unification of Japan. I’ve been cooking a lot of dinners and baking pies.

Life is good.

World of

Please welcome Rotarian Addeline Alaniz Edwards from the Harrisburg Keystone Rotary Club who stopped by during a previous meeting!

Thank you for hosting the meeting “When Clubs Can’t Meet: Where to Find Your Rotary Inspiration” I came across your club while I was checking out alternative meeting options for the Rotary clubs that I represent. I am extremely impressed with the quality of your content, as well as your hospitality to the Rotarians visiting from brick and mortar clubs. Your club literally “”Connects the World”” during this time of social distancing.

Thank you for this amazing service to your fellow Rotarians! I am coming up on my eighth year as a Rotarian; I’m a member and two-time Past President of the Harrisburg Keystone Rotary Club. With a membership ranging from 25-30, we’re often rated the “”Best Medium Club”” of Rotary District 7390. We are a “”Happy Hour”” club, and we meet at Appalachian Brewing Company in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Our favorite fundraisers are a 0.5K Beer Run, and the Capital Area Cornhole Classic. Several of us stay after our club meetings for the bar’s Trivia Tournaments.

When we win, we are awarded gift cards to Appalachian Brewing Company, which we use to pay for our fundraisers. A team of our club members recently raised $800.00 for our local Special Olympics in the Capital Area Polar Plunge. Our favorite service projects are maintaining the garden surrounding monument “”Services and Sacrifice of the Women of Harrisburg in the World War;”” Collecting and distributing pads and tampons to local high schools, and we are currently working on revitalizing the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park. After 11 years working for a local Credit Union, in 2018, I accepted my dream job as the Executive Administrator of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg. (That’s right guys! I’m a PROFESSIONAL Rotarian!) Founded in 1911, we are proud to have been the 23rd Rotary club ever established.

We have about 160 members, and we meet on Mondays for lunch at the Hilton in downtown Harrisburg. We currently hold the title of District 7390’s “”Best Extraordinary Club.”” Our speakers can range from the Mayor of Harrisburg to the CEO of Hershey Entertainment to Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Education. Our biggest fundraiser is the Rotary Pancake Pancake breakfast, held on Homecoming Day at Harrisburg High School. The event brings in about $30,000.00 every year, and we use the funds for college scholarships and supporting displaced and homeless students in the Harrisburg School District.

We are proud to partner this year with the City of Harrisburg and some local companies to restore a dilapidated greenhouse in Harrisburg’s Reservoir Park and create urban gardens for the Harrisburg community. Both Harrisburg Rotary Clubs participated in Harrisburg’s Ice and Fire Festival earlier this month. Check out the Rotary Ice Sculpture! Personally, I live in Camp Hill, a suburb of Harrisburg, with my amazing husband Josh, three kids and pets. Schools have been shut down here, so I am incredibly fortunate to be able to work from home. While we’re spending time together, we’re watching movies, playing board games, video games, basketball and sitting on the patio around the firepit.


Through a Rotarian’s Lens

Sometimes a photo can capture an amazing moment. In this section Member Keith Marsh shares his incredible photography!
If you’d like to submit a photo for this section please contact Keith.

When I visit iconic locations, I usually try to photograph famous landmarks from a different perspective than most tourists. This photo of the Statue of Liberty was taken from close to the base looking up. I included just enough of the arm and crown to identify the statue, but wanted to emphasize the strong compositional “S” curve in her gown.

A different look at Ms Liberty

Learn Something New

This section is curated by members Shags Shagrin and Rushton Hurley and aims to teach our members and guests something new, fun and useful! If you have any ideas on a fun trick or skill you’d like to share please contact Rushton or Shags.

Homemade Kebab Machine!

Shags here! Last month I had “Lunch with a Rotarian” (just about when things were starting to get crazy in our state over the virus) with fellow member Mahmood Kahn, and he talked about how he made kebabs by hand. I had just seen a video about making a kebab-machine with simple things around the house and sent it to him. I’m thinking about how I can do a kebab and basmati rice version of paella. Here it is for you to enjoy!



Coffee With a Rotarian

A natural part of Rotary is the networking and the fellowship you get out of meeting other Rotarians. Coffee With a Rotarian is a monthly program of our club where we match participating club members for one-on-one virtual (or in some cases in person) coffee meetings, so they can learn more about each other. This program is organized by member Tzviatko Chiderov.

This week we have Angela from Sydney, Australia reporting on a chat with Roger from Kamloops, BC, Canada

Had a lovely chat with Roger, discussing everything from how cold it gets in BC to how difficult it can be to get registered as a healthcare professional in Canada.

We also spoke about how the lowering of University Engineering standards may have contributed to our current home flooding woes!

Our chat was peppered with laughter and it made me realise how lucky we are to have club members on the other side of the world but who we can also feel incredibly close to at the same time!

Thanks for your time Roger, I really appreciated our chat!

We encourage all club members to participate in Coffee With a Rotarian. You can sign up here!

New Member Introduction

Please welcome our new member, Manouchehr Shamsrizi!
Here is a little bit about him:

My name is Manouchehr Shamsrizi, which is Persian for “Face of Paradise.” I am writing you these words from Hamburg, Germany, which is my hometown, and one of two cities I spend most of my time, Berlin being the second one. Ferheen, my mentor in regards of my new membership in our Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley, asked me to write a bit about myself and my motivation. Well, being in preventative self-quarantining right now, I have some time, so I shall make use of it.

Throughout the past decade, I had the honour to be able to work at the interface between social entrepreneurship (both as founder and impact investor), political activism (I co-lodged a constitutional complaint asking Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court to lower the voting age), academia (e.g. as co-founder of Humboldt-Universität’s gamelab.berlin and of Leuphana Universität Lüneburg’s Yunus Centre for Social Business and Values, formerly as a Global Justice Fellow of Yale University and an Ariane de Rothschild Fellow of Innovative Social Entrepreneurship of the University of Cambridge), and in consulting of agencies, political parties, foundations, and think tanks all over Europe. A lot of my social engagement has been influenced by my years as a Rotaractor – a decade I enjoyed very much, both as a member and as a President of my Club in Hamburg, Germany. This is why I believe my membership of Rotary, notably my membership in the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley, will allow me to enhance my social engagement with the experiences and perspectives of peers and fellow Rotarians, and thus to shape my personal and professional life in the next decade at least.

There is another reason I am looking forward to my membership in the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley: I believe that technology and science can make the world a better place – if we succeed in organising access in a just way. In fact the data shows us that so far, every new generation of technology made our societies more inclusive, healthy, democratic, and our institutions had greater transparency and accountability. The digital transformation, though, has not achieved this kind of impact on governments yet, not for everyone. The Rotarian family, being a network of leading practitioners from different backgrounds and disciplines build around ethical principles like the “Four-Way Test” and the idea of “One Profits Most Who Serves Best”, can change this. This is also true, because Rotary has re-invented itself while sticking true to its values; besides eClubs like our very own, the Rotarian Metalhead Fellowship could serve as an example, of which I am a co-founder, and I hope that I can join a Rotarian Gaming and eSports Fellowship one day.

Welcome to the club, Manouchehr !!

Relay for Life

Hello, eclub folks!

We’re into our annual project to raise funds to fight cancer, and we’re working to have absolutely everyone participate.

It will be a little different this year, as like much else in the world, the event has been postponed. Still, the need for money for research and support of programs for survivors and caregivers goes on. Given that our club continues to meet and work to inspire others, let’s see what we can do to help!

There are many ways to participate. Like Kelly last week, you can send a message of support or in memory of someone else. You can make a donation at this page. You can take a picture of yourself with a message about the effort. And you can also buy a luminaria.

“What’s that?” you ask.

One of these:

For $10, we’ll have a bag and a candle created in support or memory of someone and it will be added to the group around the track when the event does happen. Just donate $10 and leave a message at this link.

There is a group of students who help us make these, and it will help inspire them to see us step forward. Please join in!

Service Report

Tell us about service you’ve done recently in your community.
Click here to fill out The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey


On the first meeting of every month, we feature service reports from club members for the previous month. Thanks for your service everyone!

Club Announcements

Our Events & Projects

We hold our meetings online, but we do regular service projects and social events in the Silicon Valley! This section is updated every week with our upcoming events. We welcome guests to all of the events and service projects listed here.

Past Events:


Upcoming Events:

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

District 5170 Events

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)



More events coming soon! All events are open to guests, unless otherwise mentioned. Feel free to join us! If you ever have questions, please email inquiries@siliconvalleyrotary.com

Happy Dollars: Do Good by Sharing Something Good

Each week we ask our members to share stories with the club and toss in a few dollars to support our efforts. The primary goal of this section is to provide a fun way of getting to know each fellow members and guests, while giving back to a good cause.


Happy dollars is an opportunity to share something positive that has happened in your life whether it is personal or business. Think of it as your opportunity to brag a little, but also put a little bit into a karma jar. The money donated through happy dollars is put to charitable use, and the message that you leave for happy dollars will be posted in our online meeting the following week for the entire week for folks to see! (Pending that it’s appropriate!)

Here are the happy dollars contributions from last week!
This section is usually updated on the early hours of Saturday, so contributions made over the weekend may not be listed here.

Rory Olsen made a $20 donation.
I’m happy because I am alive and healthy. Jazzmine is healthy and happy too!

If heat kills the Novel Coronavirus, we should know in a week or so. Right now it is eighty two degrees here in Houston, Texas. By Friday, our weather should be in the low nineties. Time will tell.

Fill out my online form.

Selected Comments

Every week at the bottom of our meetings, there is a comments section for members and guests to tell us what they enjoyed about the meeting or to ask questions to the speaker. We select a few comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.


Here are the comments selected from last week’s meeting.

Tzviatko Chiderov  said:

Esther, this was amazing! Thanks for speaking to our club! Your energy and enthusiasm for your work are so inspiring, and the stories you shared are heart warming – thank you, thank you, thank you! And hello to all visiting Rotarians – special greetings to Addeline and James from the Rotary Club of Harrisburg, and Bill from the Rotary Club of Bloomington!

Rushton Hurley said:

Esther, you’re a hero. Thanks again for telling us your stories and inspiring us to see new possibilities in ourselves! That was a beautiful video about the seahorse guy, too.

Bill, it was great fun to see you and Rita in our meeting. Thanks again to Addeline and James for taking part this week, too. We send our best wishes to the members of the Rotary Club of Maumee, and thank President Sharon for joining us this week!

Shags, thanks for the extra program! Chuckle. The piece with the Nicholas Brothers and the Glenn Miller Band was especially cool.

Loved Keith’s report. Tabitha and I send good vibes for your wife’s recovery, too.

Kelly  said:

Glad to see Rotarians from Pennsylvania taking part in our meeting. 🙂

Being a ‘Seahorse Whisperer’ must be one of the most interesting hobbies I’ve ever heard of! I was pleased to hear that these gentle creatures inspired Roger to be more kind to others.

Keith, I’m sorry to hear you and your wife have had a rough go these past few months. It appears, as a true Rotarian, you sprang into action and helped your wife in any way you could. I do hope we receive the all clear to travel in July and that you make it to Kenya and Uganda for H2Open Doors. And thank you for continuing to share your amazing photos with us.

The last clip of the Nicholas Brothers was very impressive and entertaining! Wow.

Esther, your spirit and passion is infectious! I definitely believe in the empowerment model as well. As you said, the people you meet are clever and resourceful – they just need a little bit of extra help and support. I wish you the best of luck with The Nerve Network.

Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this week’s meeting after you watch the program below, and perhaps you’ll see your comment featured next week!

Program: PeriodsOptional – improve women’s lives, prevent cancer

Speaker: Sophia Yen

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, entrepreneurship, and education, and how those contribute to service to others. Special thanks to member Roger Plested for leading our club’s Programs Committee in finding us amazing speakers each week.

The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley seeks to explore perspectives on service from across the world. The views of the speakers in our programs are their own, and unless stated otherwise, are not necessarily reflective of the views of our eClub nor Rotary International.

If you have an idea for a cool speaker, please feel free to reach out to them directly
or submit THIS FORM so our Program Committee can contact them!

Learn about #PeriodsOptional – how to prevent cancer, increase women’s participation in school/work, decrease landfill and why a doctor becomes CEO/Co-Founder of Pandia Health, to make women’s lives better.

Sophia Yen, MD, MPH is the CEO and Co-Founder of Pandia Health, birth control delivery. She has a passion for making women’s lives easier, preventing unplanned pregnancies, and educating women about #PeriodsOptional. With more than 20 years of experience in medicine, she is board-certified in Adolescent Medicine. She graduated with a B.S. from MIT, M.D. from UCSF Medical School, and M.P.H. from UC Berkeley in Maternal Child Health. She serves as a Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Stanford Medical School. She is a Reproductive Health Specialist and co-founded 2 non-profit organizations in her endeavors to improve the lives of women: The Silver Ribbon Campaign to Trust Women and SheHeroes.org.

She co-founded Pandia Health because she believes no one should suffer from “pill anxiety” – the fear of running out of birth control and the stress of having to obtain birth control each month.



Additional Resources

Click to watch Dr. Yen’s TEDx talk.

https://www.pandiahealth.com/periods-optional/ and Pandia Health’s birth control fund


Share your thoughts or ask our speaker a question in the comments at the bottom of this meeting page!

Upcoming Program Recording Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online over Zoom video conference. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 30 minutes long and are subject to change without notice.

Our online video conference room link for these recordings is always http://zoom.siliconvalleyrotary.com/. You are welcome to join us! Please note the timezone listed for all recordings is US Pacific Time (San Francisco, California, USA).

If you can’t join the live recording, please send your questions for an upcoming speaker to programs@siliconvalleyrotary.com.

You’re Almost Done! Please complete The Attendance Survey…

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting. You have two last things to do before you’re done.

We have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt to pass along to your club’s secretary as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you. If you think you may want to join our eClub at some point in the future, we would strongly recommend you fill out the attendance form as it will improve your chances of success for your membership application.

For all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment in our comments area below. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

Important: Once you submit the Attendance Survey below, please make sure you see the confirmation message. If you get an error message instead, please try the ‘submit’ button again, and if that doesn’t work, please refresh the page and it should work fine. Thanks!

2020-04-05T14:25:37+00:00March 30th, 2020|0 Comments