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PHS Students Are ‘Olympia’s Leaders’

Twelve Portland High School students attended the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute Fall Forum in Bangor this September, according to PHS ELO Coordinator Andrea Levinsky. The Institute’s program is designed to raise the confidence and aspirations of high school girls by helping them develop the skills required to be leaders in their lives, families, careers, and communities.

The Fall Forum was a day-long conference for 555 young women from 37 high schools across Maine’s 16 counties. The event’s objective was to gather “Olympia’s Leaders,” as student participants are called, to connect with one another, hear from and network with adult business and community leaders, and introduce the yearly curriculum themes of “My Values” (10th grade), “My Voice” (11th grade), and “My Vision” (12th grade).

“I started this organization to empower young Maine women and create opportunities for each of you to become the kind of leaders you want to be. You are the future, and I’m confident that, with the skills you’re going to develop in this program, you will go on to achieve limitless success—making our communities, state, and country a much better place along the way,” said former Senator Olympia Snowe, in her remarks to the students.

To date, more than 725 Olympia’s Leaders have graduated from the Institute. Of the alumni, 93 percent of alumni are currently pursuing or have already earned higher education degrees. The remaining alumni chose to engage in gap year travels, specialized training programs, military service, or move directly to the workforce. A large majority – 72 percent – of Olympia’s Leaders have stayed in Maine for post-secondary life.

The Institute is a nonprofit organization founded by Senator Olympia Snowe in 2015 to address the decreasing confidence levels of young women in Maine.

The PHS “Olympia’s Leaders” students who attended the event are: Olivia Andre; Orane Bakajika; Dillon Edwards; Reyna Escobar-Marroquin; Jesseca Kelsey; Chloe Knight; Anna Laplante; Ellie Nelson; Julia Oplinger; Zoe Querido; Anica Spencer; and Dayanna Hooks Wayman.