Ms President US Election Results!

Sunday, March 19 was an important day for the participants of Ms President US. The girls took to the stages of Ridgefield Playhouse and the Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook for the annual election to determine who would be the Ms President US of nine different Connecticut towns.

The election was the culmination of the work done by program directors, mentors, and candidates alike throughout the year. For months, the elementary and middle school age participants learned about their local, state, and federal government; brainstormed topics wrote speeches, and organized their campaign teams. The monthly program sessions, ranging from Q&As with federal leaders to debate workshops, all led up to this important day. 

This highly-anticipated event was attended by a number of notable people; among the Playhouse election attendees were Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi, Redding First Selectwoman Julia Pemberton, Wilton Board of Select Kim Healy, and Ridgefield Registrar of Voters Wayne Floegel. Among the Action Public Library election attendees were State Representative Devin Carney, Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna, Old Saybrook Town Treasurer Barbara Labriola, and Board of Education member Eileen Baker.

The Playhouse stage was run by Patricia Russo, Executive Director of The Campaign School at Yale and a close friend of the Ms President US organization. Her infectious energy and campaign prep knowledge were invaluable in putting the candidates at ease and keeping the audience engaged.

The event began with a quick lesson on ranked-choice voting, which allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference, as opposed to simply voting for their top pick. This voting method eliminates the possibility of the winning candidate receiving a minority of the votes and leads to more camaraderie among candidates.

Next came the speeches. Each candidate had three minutes to describe her platform and detail her solution. Platforms ranged from composting in schools to language diversity to cybersecurity awareness. Every candidate spoke with passion and dedication. It was clear how hard the girls had worked and how proud they were to be standing on stage, sharing their ideas with the town, and making their voices heard.

Interspersed between the speeches were mentor awards. Mentors are integral to the fabric of Ms President US; they serve as role models to the participants, help run sessions, revise speeches, and extend a helping hand to anyone who needs it. This year, the Spirit of Ms President US Awards went to Maya Chauhan of Ridgefield and Avni Gupta of Wilton. Chauhan and Gupta are both presidents of the junior boards of their respective chapters. 

“I joined Ms President US as a participant in eighth grade,” says Chauhan. “Before joining, I was just a shy little girl. But after participating in this program, I’ve learned so many life skills that I just can’t wait to carry throughout my life.”

The League of Women Voters Award of Ridgefield went to Aditi Gupta of Ridgefield, and Samantha Verdejo of Ridgefield won the WildBloom Senior Award.

“I truly believe it’s a blessing to be able to work with these young girls,” said Verdejo. “This program helps them to be not just the leaders of tomorrow, but the leaders of today.”

Finally, it came time for the voting and announcement of the winners. First came the uncontested winners. These were girls who were the sole candidates from their towns, trailblazers of the Ms President US program.

Ms President US Redding is Kate Kumar, who talked about animal cruelty and pet abandonment. Ms President US Norwalk is MJ Porras-Hernandez, who ran on a bullying prevention platform.

Ms President US Danbury is Lillie Carballo. She aims to create a more friendly environment for young cancer patients that have been hospitalized and are undergoing treatment. Ms President US Hamden is Melanie Ceasar, who discussed children’s mental health services. Ms President US Woodbridge is Nita Sudhir. Her platform is based on littering. 

Ms President US Ridgefield is Georgia Ross, whose campaign is centered around the introduction of therapy dogs in schools to help kids deal with stress caused by the isolation they endured during the Covid-19 pandemic. During her speech, she provided some insight about where she got the motivation for her campaign.

“My sister Marielle has Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome,” said Ross. “My dog Raleigh is not a trained therapy animal, but he is a stress outlet for [her]. Their relationship gives her a new way to interact socially that is otherwise not available to her due to the difference in her social abilities.”

Ms President US Wilton is Emily Smith. She talked about the importance of self-care, and proposed the implementation of a festival to raise awareness for and boost the mental health of the youth of Wilton. 

“We believe that giving kids ideas for self-care and access to activities that generate endorphins will help them not only cope and thrive when they feel off,” says Smith, “but will also help them take care of themselves.”

Ms President US Old Saybrook is Clara Hurdis and her platform is advocating for the homeless by raising awareness and creating care bags for the Old Saybrook community members. 

There aren't words strong enough to emphasize just how intelligent and well-spoken the participants of Ms President US are. The skills they learned - collaboration, communication, professionalism- will serve them far beyond simply the program. They are our future leaders. If their speeches were anything to go by, our future is in good hands. 

Having strong female role models is of the utmost importance for young girls. This is one of the guiding philosophies of Ms President US. The program gives young girls the opportunity to speak their minds and reach their full potential. Registration for the 2023-24 cohort is open!

Ms President US, Inc. is a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to motivating and preparing girls to aim for the highest civic leadership positions. 

For questions or more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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