Workshop Encourages Girls to Get Involved in Public Service

On March 26th, more than 30 MBS Upper School girls participated in a half-day workshop designed to empower young women to get involved in politics and transform our world. As part of the workshop, the students heard from South Orange Village President Sheena C. Collum, the first woman ever elected to the position. The event was sponsored by the School’s GLOW (Girls Leadership Outreach and Worth) Club and was led by representatives of Running Start, a nonpartisan nonprofit that trains and inspires young women to run for public office.

In a series of exercises, students explored issues that are important to them, created a mock campaign plan, and discussed the importance of building a strong support network. They also learned about campaign strategy, networking, and messaging basics — including how to craft an elevator speech.

South Orange Village President Sheena Collum spoke to the students about the challenges of the campaign trail, the importance of developing good public speaking skills, and why student government elections are often tougher than city council elections. Above all she emphasized that “women need to lift women up.”

Workshop participants included: Kim Adams ’20, Kaity Bednarski ’19, Bella Becchi ’22, Sara Blanchard ’20, Emily Freelund ’22, Talia Gold ’20, Quiya Harris ’19, Caroline Hepp ’22, Devyn Janay ’22, Sarah Karbachinskiy ’21, Emma Kenny ’20, Sarah Laud ’20, Kim Magnotta ’21, Peggy Matthews ’22, Whitney McDonnell ’20, Molly Michel ’20, Katie Miles ’21, Kaya Moody ’20, Courtney Norteman ’19, Erika Phanord ’22, Mira Ramasamy ’22, Sophie Schramm ’21, Alex Shah ’20, Anjalika Shah ’22, Anoushka Shah ’19, Emma Sherman ’20, Izzy Silver ’19, Nicolette Smith ’19, Lily Solomon ’21, Isabel Thierman ’21, Rebecca Tone ’19, Sofia Valastro’21, and Kate Wenzel ’22. 

Since its founding in 2007, Running Start has trained and inspired more than 12,500 high school, college, and young professional women. Each year, Running Start hosts at least 100 training workshops around the country. To learn more, visit


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