Congresswoman Hayes visits with Ms President US

Ridgefield High School DECA Club members are pictured during a previous year. Front row are: Alexia Anglade, Emily Buonocore, Kate Dougherty, Alyssa DeStefano and Sophie Reale: Second row are: Madeline Edgerly, Gianni Coraci, Jack McGuire, Joseph Suozzi and Keith Brown: Third row are: Luke Boylan, Dylan Flood, Diego Rodriguez, Brett Hall, Avery Simoneau, Jack Matthews and Brennan Ward. The Ms President US program held its seventh session Feb. 19 focusing on the workings of the federal government with special guest speakers U.S. House Rep. Jahana Hayes, 5th Congressional District, and Director of Operations at the House of Representatives, Annmarie Goyzueta, who spoke with the girls and their mentors via Zoom. DECA stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America.

Ridgefield High School DECA Club members are pictured during a previous year. Front row are: Alexia Anglade, Emily Buonocore, Kate Dougherty, Alyssa DeStefano and Sophie Reale: Second row are: Madeline Edgerly, Gianni Coraci, Jack McGuire, Joseph Suozzi and Keith Brown: Third row are: Luke Boylan, Dylan Flood, Diego Rodriguez, Brett Hall, Avery Simoneau, Jack Matthews and Brennan Ward. The Ms President US program held its seventh session Feb. 19 focusing on the workings of the federal government with special guest speakers U.S. House Rep. Jahana Hayes, 5th Congressional District, and Director of Operations at the House of Representatives, Annmarie Goyzueta, who spoke with the girls and their mentors via Zoom. DECA stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America.

Contributed photo

Ms President US held its seventh session Feb. 19 focusing on the workings of the federal government with special guest speakers U.S. House Rep. Jahana Hayes, 5th Congressional District, and Director of Operations at the House of Representatives, Annmarie Goyzueta, who spoke with the girls and their mentors via Zoom.

Each meeting starts with an interactive activity, and this one involved working with mentors to decode license plates spelling out the Preamble of the Constitution. Participants were asked questions about the purpose of each branch. Maggie Fleuette correctly answered the question of which branch of government has the most power. She stated confidently, “None. That’s called checks and balances. They are all equal.”

Considering women make up 50 percent of the population, it’s interesting to see women only make up 24 percent of Congress. The participants shared their opinions on why they thought there was such an imbalance and when they thought women members might reach 50 percent of the legislative branch.

Guest speaker Rep. Hayes joined the call from her office in Washington, DC, and was introduced by mentor Avni Gupta. Hayes is the first African American woman to represent Connecticut as well as the recipient of the 2016 National Teacher of the Year Award. There are six participants in the Ms President US program from her district. Hayes described how her experience teaching affects her politically, as well as how she views the issues she is currently the most passionate about and the advice she would give to young girls today.

Annmarie Goyzueta, director of Operations at the U.S. House of Representatives and social events director for the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association, spoke to the girls about what it is like “behind the scenes” of government and her experiences working in politics.

Each session concludes with a group activity quizzing the girls on their knowledge they gained from the session. This session it was about the three branches of the federal government, the line of succession, and the cabinet positions.

The girls discussed which tenet of the U.S. Constitution they thought was most important (unity, justice, tranquility, defense, welfare, and liberty) before the session, and which they felt was most important after the session.

Ms President US is dedicated to motivating and preparing girls to aim for the highest civil leadership positions. This year’s campaign and election will be held over Zoom March 21.

Contact Ms President US via email for invitation. For questions, or more information, contact info@mspresidentus.org.

Alexia Anglade is a Ms President US mentor.