TINTON FALLS, NJ - On April 30, 2010, over 60 students from 13 school districts will converge at Monmouth Regional High School in Tinton Falls to participate in a program designed to encourage them to become leaders in their communities and beyond. The students will interact with - and learn from - over a dozen women who currently serve in elected offices on the municipal, county, or state levels. “Running and Winning,” which was initiated by the Greater Red Bank Area chapter of the League of Women Voters (GRBA-LWV) in 2007 and is now sponsored by the GRBA-LWV in conjunction with several other women’s organizations, is designed to introduce high school girls to the political process by providing them with access to women who currently serve as elected officials. The women act as mentors to the students. During the day-long event, student participants will have an opportunity to interview the women in government and to learn directly from their experiences. Additionally, they will be guided by trained facilitators in a mock campaign exercise and will assume the roles of candidates, publicity chairs, speech writers, or campaign managers. The ultimate goal is to encourage the students to consider public service and political participation as important goals in their adult lives, according to Co-Chairs Bobbie Goldstein and Marian Wattenbarger. “One of the most important parts of “Running and Winning” is the collaboration and cooperation between the women and the students. That is what we are modeling. The focus is on the students with the message that women can be powerful and effective when they work together,” stated Wattenbarger, who represents the Northern Monmouth County Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), a sponsoring organization.
Steering Committee for the 2010 Running and Winning Conference
The Charitable Trust of AAUW – New Jersey has provided funding in the form of a grant. Goldstein represents the GRBA-LWV. Wattenbarger also emphasized that the elected officials are representative of all political parties, including Independents, in the spirit of non-partisanship. Other sponsoring organizations are the Red Bank Chapter of Hadassah, the Junior League of Monmouth County, and the Monmouth Regional Chapter of the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey.
To date, the following elected officials are participating: Lieutenant Governor Kimberly Guadagno; Senator Jennifer Beck; Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande; Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders Director Lillian Burry; Monmouth County Freeholder Amy Mallet; Monmouth County Administrator Teri O’Connor; Middletown Board of Education Vice-President Dawn Diorio; Middletown Committeewoman Pamela Brightbill; Highlands Mayor Anna C. Little; Little Silver Mayor Suzanne E. Castleman; Manalapan Committeewoman Michelle Roth; Red Bank Councilwoman Sharon Lee; Retired Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders Director Barbara McMorrow; County Clerk M. Claire French; Monmouth County Surrogate Rosemarie Peters; Office of Congressman Frank Pallone District Director Janice Fuller; and Long Branch Board of Education President Violeta Peters.
Participating schools are Henry Hudson Regional High School, Keyport High School, Long Branch High School, Middletown High School North, Middletown High School South, Monmouth Regional High School, Red Bank Regional High School, Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, Shore Regional High School, Academy of Allied Health and Science, Biotechnology High School, Communications High School, and Marine Academy of Science and Technology.
Those from the press who wish to attend should contact Lori Anne Oliwa in advance at (732) 757-7443, so parking can be arranged. Breakfast and lunch will be served.