PRESQUE ISLE – With the national presidential election only weeks away, local girls will have a first-hand opportunity to learn what it’s like to run for office and be a leader in your community at “Ms. President,” a day-long event for any girl in grades 4-8 to be held Saturday, Nov. 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Edmunds Conference Center at Northern Maine Community College.
GIRL SCOUTS and leaders gathered for a girl-based political rally as part of the 2004 Ms. President event. Ms. President will once again be offered Nov. 1 on the Northern Maine Community College campus.
“Ms. President” is jointly sponsored by Women, Work and Community and Girl Scouts of Maine, with NMCC serving as host for the day’s events. Featured activities include a 9:30 a.m. keynote address by Sarah Standiford, executive director of the Maine Women’s Lobby titled “Making Your Voice Heard: Your Guide to Advancing a Girls Issue Agenda” and a lunchtime panel of Aroostook County women who have been leaders in community projects and organizations. Local media representatives will present workshops and the girls will be asked to take part in a mock political campaign.
Suzanne Senechal-Jandreau, regional manager for Women, Work and Community, describes Ms. President as a place for girls to make their voice heard.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for girls to connect to discuss the political process, and also issues that affect them personally,” said Senechal-Jandreau. “Not only are we letting girls know how important their voice is, but we hope we’re giving them a forum in which to use their voice. We want to impress upon them the fact that they are our future leaders.”
According to Wendy Viel, area Girl Scout marketing manager, the event also ties in well with the ideals of scouting.
“It’s about building girls of courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place,” she said. “What a great opportunity to get girls involved in something that will help them on this exciting journey.”
Older girls representing the red, white and blue parties will present their platform of issues. Participants meet the candidates and take part in a campaign rally complete with buttons, banners, slogans, and a final tally of votes. Presenters from The Star-Herald, Channel X Radio, and WAGM-TV will be on hand to offer workshops about “getting the word out” using newspaper, radio, and television. All participants will have the chance to take part in a workshop presented by Standiford, as well.
The “Ms. President” event is based on a Girl Scout participation patch developed in cooperation with The White House Project, a nonpartisan organization committed to advancing women’s leadership. It was offered in Aroostook County four years ago just prior to the last national presidential election.
“Ms. President” is open to any girl in grades 4 through 8. Deadline to register is Wednesday, Oct. 15. A signed permission slip and $5 fee to cover the cost of lunch and materials is required with each registration. To register or for more information, call 764-0050 or e-mail email@example.com.