Girl power: Young women can focus early on politics

Written by Susan Mannella on .

A group of Allegheny County girls has decided that the best way to tackle the problem of too few women in elective offices is by getting involved early.

The girls were chosen last summer to be "Change Agents," an initiative of the Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania. They devised a new program that will send 16 girls, ages 13 through 17, to the state Capitol in Harrisburg on March 8, International Women's Day.

Each young woman selected will shadow a state legislator for the day, where she will learn firsthand just what's involved in being a lawmaker. The intention of the program is to encourage girls to become more engaged in the political process, better informed about how government works and more interested in pursuing a career in politics.

This worthwhile program, which includes meals and transportation, is free for participants. Any girl who lives in Allegheny County and is in grades 8 through 12 is eligible. Applications can be downloaded at and either e-mailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , delivered to the foundation at 425 Sixth Avenue, Suite 1860, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, or faxed to 412-227-0417. Interested young women must act quickly because the deadline is 5 p.m. Tuesday.

You don't have to be old enough to vote to get involved in the political process, and girls who get an inside look at government in action just might get bit by the politics bug.


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