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Run with Running Start 2015

Running Start Women to Watch Awards 2015

Congratulations to  the winner of Run with Running Start, Rana Abdelhamid. All of our finalists did an amazing job meeting guests at the Young Women to Watch Awards and giving their very best speech about their leadership. In the end, Rana earned the most votes, earning the Political Rising Star Award. Runners-up Paola de la Cruz and Antonia Okafor earned the Alumna in Action Award. Thank you to all Run with Running Start participants for an exciting competition, and stay tuned for the 2015-2016 edition!

Running Start, 9th Annual Women to Watch Awards, April 21, 2015, National Museum of Women in the Arts,

Our finalists were Rana Abdelhamid, Paola de la Cruz, and Antonia Okafor!
Their next step was to make a speech, network, and do their best to solicit votes LIVE
at the 9th Annual Young Women to Watch Awards on April 21st.


November 2014, we called on our alums to Run with Running Start for a chance to win $5,000, be featured on our social media, win a Young Women to Watch Award, and have an unforgettable, all-expenses-paid DC experience!

We received so many amazing entries, but then we had our 10 semifinalists:


Online voting to chose the 3 finalists who will compete for the top prize
at the Young Women to Watch Awards ran February 1st – February 15th.

 How did we start the contest? Susannah bravely made this encouraging video:

Initial Contest Guidelines

Step 1: Fill out a brief survey to let us know what you’ve accomplished since participating in our programs.

Step 2: Make a 60-second video to highlight your successes and complete your contest submission.

Step 3: Be in the running for a fabulous prize and experience!

What happens next: Running Start has chosen our 10 best and brightest alumnae submissions as semifinalists in the Run with Running Start contest. These 10 semifinalists will compete in a public online voting contest, and along the way, they’ll hone their campaign and leadership skills. When online voting closes, the top 3 young women will be our finalists and will be featured at our 9th Annual Young Women to Watch Awards. We will provide room and board for the 3 finalists starting a few days before the event so that we can take them around town to meet high-level political operatives and further sharpen their skills for the ultimate challenge: the campaign-rally-style Young Women to Watch Awards. At the Awards, the finalists will pass out campaign materials (buttons, flags, flyers), network with the DC elite, give a rousing political speech, and try to convince the 375 members of the audience to vote for them, live, to win Running Start’s Political Rising Star Award, which comes with $5,000 for a nonpartisan cause of their choice. The other two finalists will each win the Alumna in Action Award and $500 for a nonpartisan cause of their choice.



Q. What are Running Start’s Programs?

A. Running Start’s programs are:

  • Campaign College
  • Camp Moxie
  • Elect Her: Campus Women Win
  • Running Start Internship Program
  • Next Step
  • Off the Record
  • Path to Politics
  • Star Fellowship
  • Young Women’s Political Leadership Program (YWPL)
  • Young Women’s Political Summit (The Summit)




 Q. What constitutes a complete contest submission?

A. To be considered for the contest, submission must include a complete survey and a correctly submitted video. For detailed instructions on the content and submission of the video, please refer to the auto confirmation email from completing the survey.

Q. What are the eligibility requirements?

A. An eligible contestant must:

  • be an alumna of one of Running Start’s programs, listed above (all 2014 Elect Her participants are eligible; current Star Fellows and Running Start Interns are not).
  • be available to travel to Washington, DC to participate in program activities all day starting April 12, 2014 through the end of the awards dinner the night of April 14, 2015.

Q. What are the prizes?

A. Contestants will compete for the following prizes:

  • The top winner of the live election at the 9th Annual Young Women to Watch Awards will win the Political Rising Star Award and $5,000 towards a nonpartisan cause of her choice.
  • The 2nd and 3rd place finishers of the live election at the 9th Annual Young Women to Watch Awards will each win the Alumna in Action Award and $500 towards a nonpartisan cause of their choice.

Q. What are the deadlines? When is the event? When is anything?

A. This is the Run with Running Start timeline:

November 15, 2014 Survey opens

December 15, 2014

December 31, 2014

Contest Entries Due
Including a completed survey and properly submitted video.
January 15, 2015 10 Semifinalists Notified by Running Start
February 1, 2015 Online Voting Opens to Choose Finalists
February 15, 2015 Voting Ends, Top 3 Finalists Announced
February 15-April 12, 2015 Finalists Participate in Training and Campaign Simulation Challenges
April 12-14, 2015 Finalists Continue Training and Challenges in DC with High-Level Experts
Night of April 14, 2015 Finalists Compete for Audience Votes at the 9th Annual Young Women to Watch Awards
April 15, 2015 Finalists Return Home
April 15, 2015-April 1, 2016 Implementation and Reporting of Finalists’ Projects