Nine female Maine college students who are all alumnae of the Maine NEW Leadership program based at the University of Maine’s Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center will be in Augusta Thursday, March 22, to shadow current Maine legislators.
The students, four of whom are enrolled at UMaine, will each be paired with a legislator. The students will likely have the opportunity to observe Democratic and Republican caucuses and see their legislators interact with constituents and lobbyists, and will likely meet other legislators and staff.
The schedule begins at 8:30 a.m. when the students meet at the public entrance to the State House and will then be introduced to their paired legislator. Those students shadowing representatives will observe at 9 a.m. a House session from the Fourth Floor Gallery, or attend caucuses for senators. Those students shadowing senators will sit in the back of the Senate chamber.
After the session, the students and legislators will have lunch in Room 103A of the Cross Office Building.
The participating students, along with their paired legislators, are:
- Jennifer Stoudt, UMaine: Rep. Jane Knapp of Gorham
- Sam Paradis, UMaine: Rep. Anne Graham, North Yarmouth
- Dora McCarthy, UMaine: Sen. Nichi Farnham, Penobscot County (Bangor)
- Amie Dick, UMaine: legislator to be determined
- Amy Sylvester, Thomas College: Rep. Megan Rochelo, Biddeford
- Brenda Gammon, Husson University: Sen. Debra Plowman, Penobscot County (Hampden)
- Lindamarie McDonald, Lewiston-Auburn College, USM: Rep. Teresa Hayes, Buckfield
- Mary Lynch, USM Muskie School graduate student: Rep. Emily Ann Cain, Orono
- Cameron Sheldon, Bates College: Sen. Margaret Craven, Androscoggin County (Lewiston)
The AT&T Foundation is sponsoring Thursday’s event for the students.
“Through our corporate and philanthropic giving, AT&T has a proud history of supporting innovative organizations that are focused on educating and inspiring the next generation,” said Owen Smith, New England regional vice president for AT&T.
The Maine NEW Leadership program is a UMaine initiative designed to address the historic and contemporary under-representation of women in politics. The program offers participants interactive sessions on leadership development, networking, diversity training and the realities of holding public office.
Last year, 29 undergraduate college women from 18 different Maine institutions of higher education participated in the intensive residential training program targeting the next generation of leaders.
The nonpartisan program is offered through the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and is provided at no cost to participants, who are accepted to the program through an application process and must be from Maine or attend college in Maine.