2012-04-26 / Front Page

Women in govt. to mentor high school juniors

TINTON FALLS — Sixty students from 11 area high schools will come together at Monmouth Regional High School on Friday to participate in the sixth annual “Running and Winning” workshop, a program designed to encourage them to become leaders in their communities and beyond.

The students will interact with and learn from women who have served or who currently serve in elective office or who provide executive support for elected officials. “Running and Winning” was initiated by the Greater Red Bank Area League of Women Voters (GRBA-LWV) in 2007. Joining the league are three other sponsors: the AAUW Northern Monmouth County Branch, the Junior League of Monmouth County and the Red Bank Chapter of Hadassah.

The workshop introduces female high school juniors to the political process by providing them with access to women in government. Early in the day, the students have an opportunity to interview the women in government and to learn directly from their experiences. Following these interviews, the students are guided by trained facilitators in a mock campaign exercise where they assume the roles of candidates and members of a support team. The day culminates with a presentation by each candidate to the full group of participants. Because a free press is essential in a democracy, the program was expanded in 2011 to include four student journalists who will cover the day for their schools and communities.

“Running and Winning” seeks to encourage student participants to consider how public policy affects the lives of individuals and communities and to consider public service and political participation as goals in their adult lives, according to Bobbie Goldstein of the GRBA-LWV and Marian Wattenbarger of AAUW.

Women in government participating this year include: Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-11th District); Councilwoman Joy Bastelli, City of Long Branch; Stephanie Brannagan, Little Silver Board of Education; Pamela Brightbill, former deputy mayor of Middletown Township; Assemblywomen Caroline Casagrande and Mary Pat Angelini (R-11th District); Eileen Higgins, director, Monmouth County Division of Employment and Training; Janice Fuller, district director, Office of Congressman Frank Pallone (D-6th District); Councilwoman Sharon Lee, Borough of Red Bank; Teri O’ Connor, administrator, Monmouth County; Amy Quinn, vice chair, Monmouth County Democrats; and Councilwoman Jennifer L. Piazza, Eatontown. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno will open the day and welcome participants.

Participating schools are Henry Hudson, Keyport and Long Branch high schools; Middletown High School North and South; Monmouth Regional, Red Bank Regional and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional high schools; Academy of Allied Health and Science; Communications High School; and Marine Academy of Science and Technology.

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