Clarion University student Kaley Simpson attended the National Education for Women Leadership Pennsylvania conference in June at Chatham University.
"The National Education for Women's (NEW) Leadership Pennsylvania is an intensive, week–long, residential leadership and public policy institute designed to educate and empower young women for future political participation and leadership," according to Chatham's website. "The program addresses the under-representation of women in the political arena by focusing on the role of women in politics and policy making in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Each year approximately 35 students from colleges and universities across Pennsylvania are selected to attend."
Simpson, a sophomore political science major, learned about the NEW opportunity through her American Government professor, Dr. Kevan Yenerall.
"I hope to gain academic knowledge and receive information on what it's like to be
a woman in politics," Simpson said.
Simpson said she looks forward to meeting other women who have gone through the election process, as well as meeting other women from Pennsylvania colleges who share her interest in the politics.
"Currently, I'm am involved with the League of Women Voters in Clarion. They are a bipartisan group worried about the issues involved in and around Clarion," Simpson said. "I would encourage any woman to become involved and make your voice heard. We all have one and need to stick together for the welfare of Clarion and its surrounding areas on issues."
According to promotional materials, students will:
- Meet with successful women leaders to discuss politics, public policy and the importance of women's leadership.
- Participate in skill–building workshops on networking, public speaking and strategic communication.
- Network with a diverse group of women who share a commitment to shaping the public agenda and making a difference in their communities.
- Practice leadership through action.
Past Clarion University students who have attended NEW believe the experience is worthwhile such as Alexis White."I must say the experience was life changing," White said. "Day one of the stay on campus we were introduced to the staff and our in-house representative was recently retired State Rep. Mauree Gingrich. She stayed with us the whole week giving us insight and guidance about politics and the role she played. She was very informative and helpful as she was brutally honest about the behind-the-scenes within the capital and in her district."
Another recent graduate, Megan Yvorra, shared her experience in attending NEW.
"Students should attend NEW because of the incredible experiences and opportunities that this unique program affords. Within the course of four-to-five days, you meet women involved in local, state and federal branches of government," Yvorra said. "You get to be surrounded by incredible young women who have the same passions and drives as you, who will become life-long friends. It is an opportunity to grow as an individual, develop new skills, and to gain some ideas of potential future career paths."
Simpson said she plans to graduate from Clarion University in 2021 and hopes to jump into the political arena in any way she can.
"I see myself in five years graduated and working full-time maybe in Pennsylvania or maybe in D.C."