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Women of the Panel on June 23rd

By: Maddy Harvey

Earlier this morning, we had a panel of four strong women at our assembly. Two were from the state Board of Education, one was a lobbyist, and one was the director of the Missouri Department of Conservation. Tracy Hinds is the head of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Shelly Abuchon works with the 64 West Central school districts after being in 33 years of public education. She first became a teacher to be with energetic young people. Jessica Petrie Thelemaque is a lobbyist who takes company perception and brings it to the legislature. Sara Parker Pauly started her public service in 1993 with the conservation.

She connects people with nature to maintain public trust.

After these women told us about themselves, the delegates at Missouri Girls State (MSG) were allowed to come up and ask them questions. The first question was, “What is your advice for women in the minority?” The overall answer from each of the four women was to be CONFIDENT. Build your confidence, your support system, and remember your purpose out in the world! Find a way to be yourself in the position you are in.

All of these women sent out a strong message of confidence to the MGS delegacy this morning. They encouraged all of us to be ourselves and to find our place in the places that life takes us. You don’t have to “compete against others. You have to compete with yourself.” Don’t sweat the small stuff. Use what you learned and apply it to your job the next day.

So, to my fellow delegates, always remember to stay confident. Always be able to learn new things. Your possibilities are limitless. Remember to fly high like a phoenix, and stand tall like a tree. You can do anything you put your mind to.

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