Launching the Next Step

March 7, 2010

As a long time Running Start volunteer, I was excited to hear about Running Start’s “Next Step” – a nonpartisan political training program for women in their 20’s. Running Start is already the recognized leader in programming for high school- and college-aged women in politics, providing training for women who are in the beginning of their careers is both a logical and thrilling move for Running Start.

The Next Step launch party was at the downtown establishment Josephine on Thursday, March 4th, and was packed with women and men energized by Running Start and passionate about encouraging women in politics. Some of the attendees were the Running Start staff and board, the Next Step board, as well as current Running Start interns and Star Fellows. A bipartisan group of DC professionals from the Hill, the administration, and government relations groups rounded out the evening of networking and socializing.

The bipartisan guests Dana Perino and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky shared their passion and advice for young women getting their start in politics. Dana Perino shared anecdotes from her time as White House Press Secretary – including her realization that while she couldn’t do the job the same as a man, she could be successful in her own way, and how positive President George W. Bush was to women running for office, that many successful politicians lose elections, and the important thing is to run, and run again. Jan Schakowsky shared how important mentors are for women in politics, and how she has made a personal commitment to encourage women to run, and so should we!

Hearing from successful women in politics, whether staffers like Ms. Perino or elected officials like Congresswoman Schakowsky, is a reminder of the difference we can all make. Running Start is committed to encouraging women to take that step, and make that difference. The number of women (and men) who showed up, donated, and signed up to volunteer with Next Step are a sure sign of success for Running Start’s newest program!

To learn more about Next Step, and to apply, click here:

-Monica Carmean

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