Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) kicked off the annual Young Women's Leadership Program by hosting a delegation of Bergen County high school students at the Statehouse in Trenton Monday to celebrate Women's History Month.
The Young Women's Leadership Program, which Vainieri Huttle first sponsored in 2012, is an advanced learning experience for young women in high schools throughout the 37th Legislative District to learn about state government and the legislature.
Participants will attend both community outreach events in District 37, as well as events in Trenton like Monday's visit to the Statehouse where they took a tour, were presented with citations and attended the Assembly's voting session.
"In just the past decade, New Jersey has gone from ranking near the bottom in terms of women serving in the legislature to 11th nationally. We sent another long-overdue woman to Washington to represent us in Congress and we have a female frontrunner for the Democratic Presidential nomination," said Vainieri Huttle. "Women are making great strides in government and this program is an excellent way to showcase that. Our goal is to inspire more young women to become aware of and engaged in the many civic and government leadership opportunities that are available. I am so impressed with the bright young minds that have joined this program and I have no doubt that they will be our future leaders of tomorrow."
As part of the program, the participants will be involved in discussions on the key issues of the day affecting New Jersey on both a statewide and local level. A focus of the program is the role of women in government and the contributions female leaders make to the State of New Jersey and society in general.
This year, the following 13 young women are participating in the program:
· Ma'ayan Brandwein, Ma'ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls
· Briana Cahill, Leonia High School
· Shannon Cloughley, Hackensack High School
· Olivia Kempner, Dwight Englewood School
· Yanize Lopez, Fort Lee High School
· Deveraux Mackey, Horace Mann School
· Melody Magly, Dwight Morrow/Academies at Englewood
· Jenna Newman, Tenafly High School
· Anna Maria Scarpis, Bogota High School
· Rachel Strompf, Tenafly High School
· Adriana Vidal, Teaneck High School
· Amanda Vidal, Teaneck High School
· Varsha Vijayakumar, Northern Valley Regional High School - Old Tappan