Name: Jana Krien
Hometown: Waterford, WI
Major/Minor: Biology, Consumer Psychology
Activities: Quaker Girls Dance Team, Penn Period Project
34th Street Magazine: What is challenging and rewarding about being co–director of the Quaker Girls Dance Team?
Jana Krien: The most challenging aspect is all of the different moving parts that go with running a student–led team. We don’t have a coach or faculty member helping us out. It’s just us, so we have to coordinate our own practices; we have to deal with our own finances. The learning curve that came with understanding that I had the responsibility to do all this myself and with my co–director so our team can run smoothly. I think the most rewarding part was seeing everything come together after our performances, seeing how hard our girls work, and how well they perform—just how excited they are afterwards when we have a good performance and watch that video: We see all of our hard work has an amazing result. That’s definitely the most rewarding.
Street: How do you build a sense of community on the team?
JK: We’re a pretty small team. We have sixteen girls right now, and so we have practice three times a week for two hours each, so we see each other a lot. Also, just the fact that every single girl on the team is contributing in helping out, whether they have a board position or are choreographing a dance for us. Everyone is just so involved since there aren’t that many of us. I think we really try to make it a priority to make sure we all do stuff outside of practice and that we’re a really close–knit team.
Street: You started a club that distributes menstrual products to poor women in Philadelphia. What was the impetus for creating this club, and why is this particular issue important to you?
JK: There’s so many issues facing women today. This was just for some reason really personal for me because I feel that it’s not one that many people think about. You know we think about how there are homeless women, so we give them shelter, food, and water, but still this particular aspect is often overlooked. It’s definitely a large part of the overall well–being and their ability to stay healthy. It also impacts their ability to go to job interviews or hold down a job when they’re menstruating and don’t have any available products. For a lot of women in other countries, when girls are on their period, they stop going to school, so it turns into this big education issue and a public health issue. There’s a lot of large issues that we don’t think of right away.
Street: On a broader level, what are some issues you think are important to solve in Philadelphia?
JK: I think education is really important, especially for young girls in Philadelphia. I really want to make sure that they stay in school and they given the best opportunities and resources that they need so that they can finish high school and go on to college. Depending on what your background is, where you come from, it may not be possible for you. I think also, you know, since I am studying science, I really want to encourage young girls to look into the STEM field so they realize that they are smart, and it’s not just all made up of guys.
Street: What do you hope to do in the future?
JK: I definitely think that in the future I would like to get more involved with companies like Cora, which distributes menstrual health products to women. They do a lot of work in Africa and Middle Eastern countries. I think I’d like to work there and help on–site to get really hands–on experience from that. I also think of expanding this idea to any city that I’m in.
Best place to eat on campus?
Your favorite song?
JK: Anything by Of Monsters and Men.
What celebrity would you have play you in a documentary of your life?
JK: Blake Lively.
There are two types of people at Penn…
JK: Those who walk to the Palestra and those who Uber to the Palestra.
And you are?
JK: Definitely the Uber kind!