Carolyn Potter and Madison Westrich, eighth-graders at Wiscasset Middle High School, joined 100 girls from across the state of Maine at the Maine State House recently for Girls’ Day, a dynamic and immersive day learning about how the state government works, the importance of women’s leadership, and how young women can have a voice on issues they care about.
Potter and Westrich studied the ins and outs of the legislative process through activities led by Maine State House lobbyists, staff, and volunteer mentors. A high point for both of them was participating in a discussion about LD 94, the actual bill concerning the law prohibiting the dissemination of obscene material to minors. They were also excited about a presentation given by Kelli McCannell, executive director of Hardy Girls, Healthy Women, who spoke about the impact of negative societal messages in the media and law on women and girls.
Potter and Westrich noted how inspiring it was to be among so many students their age that were respectful of each other’s ideas and opinions. They both made friends with girls from all over the state and came away truly inspired.
The day of advocacy and activism was capped off by a visit from Gov. Janet Mills, herself an embodiment of the mission of Girls’ Day.
Girls’ Day at the Maine State House, organized by the Maine Women’s Lobby Education Fund and now in its 23rd year, works in partnership with the Maine Women’s Lobby to help women and girls realize their full potential by promoting equal opportunity. For more information, visit mainewomen.org/mwl/edfund.