Young women from Sequim High School interacted with one of the best-known women in Washington politics on Oct. 28.
State Representative for the 24th District and House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler spoke to more than 100 women involved with Women in Networks, a program helping young women explore different career options.
Kessler has been involved with WIN in different capacities during its 13 years of existence and last spoke at the event 10 years ago.
This year Kessler reviewed her career timeline and how she overcame shyness and gender discrimination in the workplace.
"I've been through all of kinds of things like this recession," she said.
"We will come out of this, but it will take all kinds of young women like you to come in behind me."
Several students were receptive to Kessler's message, such as high school senior Hannah Stephens, 17.
"I joined WIN because it's an inspirational place to be," Stephens said.
"It makes me feel like a part of
the majority in politics."
Kessler said that when she first ran for political office in 1992 and won, the House had a 40/60 women to men split - the largest percentage of women ever in state office.
She encouraged the young women to pursue leadership positions of all kinds.
"WIN is about is getting women in this rural area an opportunity to pursue nontraditional professions," said Mitzi Sanders, WIN program director.
"We have a lot of talent but they are kind of hidden."
At the end of the event more than 10 applications were filled out for new WIN members.
"WIN is a good opportunity and (women) don't always get opportunities that we might deserve," said Lindsey Soha, 16, a high school junior.
Other speakers included Mark Willis, high school associate principal; class liaisons Olivia Hatton, freshman, Loretta Creasey, sophomore, Margaret Norlund, junior, and Chase O'Neil, senior; and Michelle Barth with Soroptimist International of Sequim, co-sponsors of the event.
The WIN program is paid for by local sponsors, the Soroptimists and a trust fund from Carol Sanders who lives in San Diego, Calif.
In 1999, it won best vocational program in Washington.
WIN is not a club but offers activities and opportunities for all female students to explore career choices and meet women professionals.
On Nov. 17, the group will visit Western Washington University.
For more information on joining trips and/or WIN, contact Mitzi Sanders at the Sequim High School career office, 582-3631, mitzi@
sequim.k12.wa.us or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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