By Rebecca Fricke, LWV Amherst

Last fall, the League of Women Voters of Amherst sponsored a girls’ leadership program called 1-2-3 Girls LEAD!  Amherst Regional High School teachers nominated over 100 girls who had different backgrounds and interests but were not known leaders in the school; 23 of those girls attended.

LWVA members Cynthia Brubaker and Rebecca Fricke designed the fast-paced program to include activities and facilitated discussions to help the young women gain confidence, learn skills and practice techniques which are important for effective leadership. The group spent a considerable amount of time identifying an impressive list of the issues the girls care about and qualities of a good leader.

Mindy Domb, who had been recently elected Third Hampshire State Representative, attended a morning session and, according to the reviews, was a favorite part of the day.  Domb encouraged the group to stay in touch with her about the issues they care about.  In the afternoon, Anastasia Ordonez led a session on effective communication.   Ordonez’s session culminated in a poster-making activity, and LWVA used the girls’ Get Out the Vote posters to promote the Nov. 6 election.

Since the workshop, several participants have stepped up and initiated new projects on racism and climate change at the high school.  One young woman applied for and received a grant to pay for a bus to take the group to visit the Boston State House, and the group will be traveling to Boston this spring.  Five months after the event, the Amherst local paper ran an article about the workshop.

If you are interested in learning more about this event, Cynthia and Rebecca will share their expertise.  They hope to sponsor another event in the fall of 2019 and are willing to allow some LWVMA members to come and observe.  Please contact either Cynthia or Rebecca for more information.