Abigail Cota

September 8, 2010

I’ve always been an active participant in extracurricular activities, yet Running Start was different. When I learned about Running Start’s Young Women’s Political Retreat my senior year in high school, I was extremely fascinated with their program and applied. I was thrilled to travel on an airplane, let alone visit Washington, DC. Applying for Running Start has been one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made.

The program was fascinating. Everything about it had an influence on my thoughts. There were many activities, places to visit, films to watch, sights to see, and things to learn. In addition, I met great women from across the nation, who I still keep in touch with. Running Start makes politics a tool to unify the elements that come in cultivating successful women. This program has essentially nourished me and the other girls with tools on being successful, an intellectual, seeking help, and giving back to our communities and beyond.

Running Start is not about the monetary gain, it’s about the desire to educate great young women from all different backgrounds on the basis for leadership in their near futures.

For me, Running Start has become the reminder of who I am and who I seek to be. Even if I might not become a politician after all, I will not forget the values installed by this exquisite program. Before Running Start, I was active in school and my academics but in the aftermath I find myself with a higher self-esteem, assertiveness, leadership skills, communication skills, discipline, professionalism, etiquette, hope, aspirations, and friends for life. I strongly believe that Running Start was a life changing experience for me. I pride myself in being part of Running Start. More importantly, I have set example for my family and community. The girls involved are extraordinary and although the intimidation was there I loved it. Their individual testimonials have only reminded me of how much potential I have and the degree I should be working at. I will continue to become involved with Running Start and forever appreciate this wonderful opportunity.

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