The kick-off session of Ms President US was on Friday, September 8th! It was well attended by participants and mentors, alike.
Excitement was a common feeling throughout the room as Liz Fleuette, Ms President US founder, and Mary Barneby, CEO of Girls Scouts of Connecticut, introduced the program and gave context for the importance of civic leadership by girls and women. The girls eagerly participated and learned about the current representation of women in politics, as well as other sectors of our economy. While women are 51% of our population, they are disproportionately represented in key sectors of public life.
The need for change was thoroughly discussed. Each panelist- Mary Barneby (moderator), Kayla Reasco (Outreach Aide for Senator Murphy), Kate Farrar (Executive Director of the CT Women’s Education and Legal Fund), Eloisa Melendez (Norwalk CT City Councilwoman), and Erin Hanlon (Ambassador Girl Scout)- discussed how they overcame obstacles as women involved in public service. Eloisa Melendez, especially, talked with program participants and mentors about encouraging girls to run a campaign for office. Girls are typically less likely to try running for office compared to their male counterparts, and motivating women to do so was a resonating theme of the panel. Supporting fellow girls and women as they seek to serve in public office is important, as all the panelists emphasized.
After the panel, all the girls talked about what it means to be an active citizen and began to learn more about each other!
It was an energetic first session for Ms President US, and there is a lot of excitement building up for the October ‘Local Lady Leaders’ program.
We also encourage you to check out sheshouldrun.org, which is an organization that focuses on promoting women in public office. Many of their key messages are similar to ideas are panelists discussed.
– Ananya K (Mentor and November Panelist)