Moderated by Ridgefield First Selectman, Rudy Marconi, the panel included Dr Karen Baldwin, Superintendent of Ridgefield Public Schools; Maureen Kozlark, Ridgefield Selectwoman; Fran Walton, Chair of the Ridgefield Board of Education; and Callie Whalen, member of the Ridgefield Youth Commission,
More than 50 girls in grades 4th to 8th are enrolled in the program, along with 25 high school girls serving as Mentors.
The mission of the non-profit, non-partisan, community-based program is to inspire and prepare girls to aim for the highest leadership positions and know they can achieve them. The monthly civic leadership sessions culminate with a campaign and election at The Ridgefield Playhouse in May where girls have the option to run for "president" of Ridgefield.
Dr Karen Baldwin said, "As Superintendent of Schools, I'm thrilled to serve on the Advisory Board of Ms President US and to be a part of this important effort to create meaningful opportunities for girls to develop their leadership skills and think about ways that they can serve and make a difference for others within our community."
Fifteen percent of the enrolled girls are from towns outside of Ridgefield including Danbury, Newtown, Woodbridge, and Woodbury.
Founder, Liz Fleuette said, "We hope to replicate the program in these and other towns in future years so that all girls can benefit from civic leadership development -- something that is not yet offered at the elementary school level."