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Barkot Tesema

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May 8, 2012

The Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) hosts several conferences throughout the year for young female students in order to help them achieve their dreams. These conferences have worked on educating, empowering and inspiring young women, like myself, to gain a strong presence in high places. In particular, I attended the Women in Public Policy seminar this past January. I was able to hear from influential female speakers in top positions from the governmental, non-profit and private sectors. Some of the speakers even attended PLEN conferences when they were students. Being someone from an impoverished neighborhood, I did not grow up seeing powerful female role models. Coming to this conference exposed me, as well as put me in contact with these influential women leaders. Speakers included Alice Rivlin (former director of the CBO), Caya Lewis (Chief of Staff, CMS) and many more. In addition, workshops and discussions were held in order to prepare us for interviews and job applications, and to inform us on current issues and events. I saw the many opportunities that were out there, and it gave me the inspiration to keep moving forward. I currently serve as an ambassador for the program, because I believe that there are many young ladies out there that would benefit from the opportunities and experiences that PLEN has to offer.

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