HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 23, 2015 – Students at High Point University interested in serving in community and political leadership roles received some unique training today.
Elect Her–Campus Women Win selected HPU as one of only 50 campuses in the country this year to host training for women and men who want to run for student government, local office, and other government and leadership positions throughout their lives. Elect Her is a joint program of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Running Start.
The event featured local leaders including Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan and Chimi Boyd-Keyes, founder and CEO of CBK Enterprises. It also offered insight from HPU campus leaders including Dr. Ginny McDermott, associate chair of the Qubein School of Communication; senior Greyson Whitaker, SGA president; and Class of 2015 President Alex Nelson.
Training sessions led by Elect Her representatives taught the HPU students – both males and females – about the importance of message and why young women should run for office.
Boyd-Keyes, the Elect Her facilitator, said that the United States ranks 75th in the world for women’s political representation, trailing behind countries like Cuba, Uganda, Rwanda and Iraq. Programs like Elect Her, she said, will help change that statistic for the better.
“Great things happen when women are in leadership,” said Boyd-Keyes. “Elect Her builds the pipeline of women running for office, starting with student government. That’s why Elect Her exists – so we can start that process right now.”
Participants also practiced hands-on campaign skills, including how to run for Student Government Association, create a campaign strategy, develop a platform, craft an elevator speech and more.
Vaughan inspired HPU students to make an impact during one of the sessions. She stressed the importance of grassroots movements, public speaking skills and community involvement.
“There are certain decisions that women have to make that men don’t face,” said Vaughan. “Women in politics face different obstacles, but that doesn’t mean they can’t overcome them. Now, we’re seeing women excel in politics. We are only limited by what we allow ourselves to be limited by. The future for women, especially young women, in politics is unlimited. It’s only a matter of time before we see a woman president.”
“The Elect Her leadership training seminar is a great way for me to sharpen my leadership skills,” said HPU student Nicole Forman. “I am a part of the next generation of leaders and today, I learned new skills that will help me succeed in school and in the real world.”
About Elect Her
Elect Her is a joint program of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Running Start that offers leadership training to women students, then shows them how to use skills and tools they gained from the program to launch successful campaigns for student government positions or local office. Many Elect Her alumnae have taken the skills and tools they learned from the leadership training program and used them to launch successful campaigns for student government positions and even for local office.