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Buono Kicks Off Fourth Young Women’s Leadership Program

Mentoring program encourages high school girls to get involved in politics and public service

NEW BRUNSWICK – The fourth class of Senator Barbara Buono’s Young Women’s Leadership Program met for the first time today at their orientation session at Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics. The program is aimed at encouraging participation in politics and public service among the next generation of New Jersey women.

“This diverse group of young women represents some of the best and brightest that New Jersey has to offer for the future,” said Senator Buono, D-Middlesex. “They are poised to become their generation’s leaders and I hope that this inside look at the day-to-day work of a legislator will encourage them to seek public office.”

The Young Women’s Leadership Program is an extracurricular series in politics and government available to young women that are high school juniors and seniors in Edison and East Brunswick. The goal of the program is to engage high school girls in the political process, encouraging them to become involved in politics and one day pursue elected or appointed office.

“New Jersey has made strides in increasing female representation in state government, yet we are still only a quarter of the state Legislature and for nearly a decade have had no women in our Congressional delegation,” explained Senator Buono. “We need to mentor young women right now and instill in them the self-confidence that will encourage them to become actively engaged in the political realm or seek elected office.”

The members of the Fall 2012 class are:

· Ellen Chang, John P. Stevens High School

· Olga Dovhanyuk, John P. Stevens High School

· Jennifer El-Fakir, John P. Stevens High School

· Tania Ghazar. East Brunswick High School

· Ramsha Javed, John P. Stevens High School

· Juhi Kampani, John P. Stevens High School

· Suah Kim, John P. Stevens High School

· Sarvani Kuruganti, John P. Stevens High School

· Lavanya Nagappan, John P. Stevens High School

· Kaushika Suresh, Edison High School

· Ashley Taneja, John P. Stevens High School

· Sudeepti Vedula, John P. Stevens High School

The program continues next Thursday when participants will travel to the Statehouse to attend the Senate voting session. The participants are also scheduled to take a tour of the State House and attend a committee hearing in November. A final event will be held outside of the Statehouse, and will allow students to experience Senator Buono’s responsibilities as an elected official outside of her role as a policymaker.