The girls’ civic leadership program, Ms President US, held its fourth monthly session at the Ridgefield Library on Dec. 14.

The session, entitled “Debating Among Federal Leaders,” offered participants an overview of how the federal government is structured, provided key lessons on how to debate properly, and gave girls the opportunity to put those lessons to use.

The session kicked off with Ms President US mentors, Tara Krishna and Ellie Carter, presenting a lesson on debating skills, with both demonstrating the most effective ways to communicate one’s position and win debates.

After the introduction, girls in the Ms President US program broke into teams and conducted a “tennis debate” where one team argued the affirmative side and the other team had the chance to rebut a series of topics. The mentors visited each table and offered constructive guidance and encouragement.

This activity warmed the girls up for the featured guest, U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-5th District), who spoke to the girls about how her life has been shaped by politics. Etsy explained what it's like to be a congresswoman, and the challenges she faced as a woman in a male-dominated Congress (20% now, 25% as of Jan. 3).  

The girls learned about the composition of the three branches of federal government, heard an insider’s view of the life of a U.S. representative, and saw her actual voting card and pin.

For more information about the program, visit mspresidentus.org.