ADAMS TWP - Mars High School sophomore Isabelle Spoores is learning first hand about civics, government, philanthropy, youth organizing, community involvement, women's history and leadership as a member of the GirlGov civic engagement program.
GirlGov, offered through the Pittsburgh-based Women and Girls Foundation, trains high school girls to be the next generation of leaders as well as to advocate and garner support for equal access, opportunity, and influence for women and girls in all aspects of their lives. The program encourages members to develop and lead their own advocacy campaigns.
Spoores' personal campaign is to educate others about Title IX federal civil rights law to ensure that they are adequately protected. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities such as public and private elementary and secondary schools, school districts, colleges and universities.
In late April, GirlGov members traveled to the State Capitol to meet with women serving in the state Senate and House of Representatives and to discuss current trends in state politics. Spoores met with Rep. Wendy Ullman (District 143) and had an opportunity to shadow Rep. Tarah Toohil (District 116), accompanying her to several meetings, including a Human Services Committee meeting, and to a voting session on the floor of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
“The entire trip was very inspiring,” Spoores said.
The mission of the Women and Girls Foundation is to achieve equality for women and girls and to advancing women's rights through statewide solutions; engaging young women as donors, activists and leaders; and engaging men as allies and partners.