April 26 2018

BHS Girl Up Leaders Visit State House

By: BNEWS

 

Burlington High School students that are members of a group dedicated to empowering girls around the world were at the Massachusetts State House this week to talk about issues important to them.

 

On April 23, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) and Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) welcomed a group of Burlington Girl Up Leaders to the Massachusetts State House, a release from Friedman’s office says. The young leaders had the opportunity to speak directly with their legislators about some of the obstacles they face as young women in high school and asked important questions about how they can make an impact on state government.  

 

Girl Up is a global organization that envisions a world where every girl can live up to their utmost potential.

An overarching theme of the discussion was the need to increase the number of young women enrolled in STEM courses, which are traditionally male-dominated, the release states. Sen. Friedman explained that she was often the only woman at the table when she worked as a manager of hardware and software groups in the high-tech industry for nearly 20 years.

Both Sen. Friedman and Rep. Gordon expressed their interest in working with the students and the Burlington community to empower young women to pursue STEM courses and establish a more integrated pathway into male-dominated careers like engineering and computer science.

“It was wonderful to welcome the Girl Up Leaders to the State House today,” Sen. Friedman said. “I am thrilled by their eagerness to become more engaged in politics, public policy and their community, especially when it involves making a difference in the lives of other young women. I look forward to working with these bright young leaders in the future!”

The Girl Up Leaders also inquired about the impact that phone calls and emails to their state legislators can have on state government and ways that they can make a greater difference in the legislative process.

Rep. Gordon mentioned the work that the students from the Francis Wyman School did in the spring of 2016 following a tragic fire at their school. The students, he explained, wanted to do something to make a real difference in the community, so they worked with Gordon to pass legislation (H.2747) to make the month of May the month of kindness. In telling this story, Gordon noted the impact that a small group of people had on state government to make real change.

It was thrilling to have these impressive young women at the State House to remind us that we have true leaders on their way,” he said.

The Girl Up Leaders also discussed clean energy initiatives like the proposed plastic bag ban in the Town of Burlington as well as the Senate clean energy omnibus bill S.2302, An Act to promote a clean energy future, which both Sen. Friedman and Rep. Gordon support, the release states. After the discussion, the Burlington students went on a tour of the State House and had the opportunity to learn about the building’s history and the legislative process.

 

 
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