Speakers & Content 2017-2018

Election Day 2018

Congratulations to Ms President US of Ridgefield, Hersha Chauhan, and to Ms President US of Danbury, Brianna Razeq!

The Participant Campaigns:


Announcement of Winners:



September – Activate Your Girl Power!   

Focus of this session:

  1. an overview of the Ms President US program;
  2. context for the importance of civic leadership by girls and women, including current data about the representation of women in politics, the economy, and public life;
  3. a panel of female leaders discussing their own experiences including obstacles they have faced, successes they have enjoyed, and advice they offer to future female leaders.

Video of Activate Your Girl Power session 


Left to Right 

Mary Barneby, CEO of Girl Scouts of Connecticut

Kayla Reasco, Outreach Aide for US Senator, Chris Murphy 

Kate Farrar, Executive Director of the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund

Eloisa Melendez, Norwalk CT City Councilwoman and Student at University of CT – Stamford

Erin Hanlon, Ambassador Girl Scout, Ridgefield CT 

October –  Local Lady Leaders

Focus of this session:

  1. Meet the women who are making important decision in Ridgefield today.
  2. Learn about some of the issues that are being discussed and why they are important to Ridgefielders.
  3. Discuss different opinions on local topics – find common ground among peers.

Video of Local Lady Leaders Panel

LLL Panel - smaller


Left to Right:

Callie Whelan, Member of the Ridgefield Youth Commission

Karen Baldwin, Ed. D. Superintendent of Schools (Ridgefield, CT)

Rudy Marconi, First Selectman, Ridgefield Connecticut (MODERATOR)

Frances Walton, Chair of the Ridgefield School Board

Maureen Kozlark, Selectwoman, Ridgefield CT

November – Women & Girls Making Things Happen in CT

Focus of this session:

  1. Meet women who are making important decisions in Connecticut today.
  2. Learn about some of the issues that are being discussed.
  3. Understand leadership roles that are available to girls and women in the state.

Video of Women and Girls Making Things Happen in CT

Panel -best

Left to Right 

Toni Boucher, CT State Senator

Joan Hartley, CT State Senator 

Ananya Kachru, Miss Connecticut Teen, USA Ambassador Pageant

Jessica Brocksom, CT’s Kid Governor 2017

December – Debating among Federal Leaders

Focus of this session:
  1. Learn about the structure of Federal Government and the role of women who are / have been leaders in US Congress
  2. Meet and greet female leaders who have had experience in US Congress
  3. Learn and Practice debating skills – how to make a structured and compelling argument among peers.

Video of Debating Among Federal Leaders session

  1. Panel

Left to Right 

Nan Hayworth, Former US Representative (R-NY)

Stephanie Podewell, District Director & Deputy Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Elizabeth H. Esty

Tarini Krishna, Junior at Ridgefield High School, Debate Team Leader, 2017 Best Mocker in CT State, and Vice President of the NCL-Nutmeg Class of 2019

January – Rock the Stage with Your Whole Self 

Focus of this session:

  1. Transparency and telling your truth
  2. Making people trust you so they want to listen
  3. Role-playing speeches

1- CO and Arms Up with all Girls

Christine O’Leary, Comedian and Public Speaking Expert

Activity:  Starting to prepare a campaign for Ms President US of Ridgefield

February – Your Leader is In the Mirror:  The Media’s Portrayal of Successful Women and How It Impacts Women and Girls 

During this workshop, participants will examine images and messages about girls and boys in the media. Participants will then discuss how those messages are similar to those around females and males in the workforce. A particular emphasis will be placed on how the media portrays successful women leaders and the obstacles female leaders have to overcome. The workshop will conclude with a discussion on self-esteem and self-confidence, where participants practice power poses and other ways they can build their self-esteem as leaders moving forward.

Video of Your Leader is in the Mirror

Cara and Ann

Ann Rodwell-Lawton, Director of Education, Training & Outreach, Women’s Center

Cara Mackler, Prevention Educator , Women’s Center

March – Founding Mothers   

Focus of this session:

  1. Learn how women in Connecticut helped shape our state, our nation, and our world
  2. Explore stories of CT’s remarkable women from the colonial period to the Civil War.
  3. Make connections between past and present; consider ways to take an active role in shaping the future

Erin and Michele

Lena Harwood Pacheco, Education Manager, Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame

April – Ready, Set, Run….putting your campaign together

Focus of this session:

  1. Preparing for your campaign using library resources
  2. How to distinguish true vs false news
  3. Exploring the library, researching issues for own campaign

Brenda McKinley, Director, Ridgefield Library

Erica Gauquier, Teen Services Librarian

Kristina Lareau, Children’s Services Head

May – Campaign & Election at The Ridgefield Playhouse 

Featuring all the girls in the program!


POSTPONED – Finding Your Voice and Making It Matter 

Focus of this session:

  1. The importance of finding your own voice
  2. Rules for speaking well / what makes a great speech
  3. Role-playing speeches

Patricia Russo, Executive Director of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University


MPU Presenter Guidelines – Sept 2017

Speaker Authorization