During the month of March, Women’s History Month, we take time to remember and reflect on the accomplishments of great women who paved the way and changed the world for generations that followed.
Right here in the state of New Jersey, women have made strides in every profession. In the executive branch of government, Christine Whitman, the state’s first female governor and former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator; Lisa P. Jackson, former New Jersey Commissioner of Environmental Protection and current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator; and Kim Guadagno, the state’s first lieutenant governor, have all established legacies. Demonstrating leadership in the judicial branch, Deborah Poritz was the first woman to serve as both New Jersey’s Attorney General and Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. And recently, New Jersey Inventors’ Hall of Fame member Yvonne Brill was recognized by President Obama and awarded a National Medal of Technology, the highest honor bestowed by the federal government upon American scientists and inventors, for her contributions to space exploration.
But even as we honor great women of the past and present, we must remember that we all have a responsibility to cultivate great women of the future. There is no greater way to do so than via mentorship. All women have experiences to share and advice to give. Moreover, every young woman has a dream she longs to make a reality. The student interns in my Young Women’s Leadership program are proof that there is power in the next generation beyond what I could have even imagined as a young person. These young women are smart, bold, and most importantly, unwavering in their belief that they can make a difference. They represent the many rising leaders who need our encouragement, our guidance, and our dedication to their success. Whether it is by volunteering with a national organization like Big Brothers Big Sisters, coaching a local soccer team, or helping students in the neighborhood with a science fair project, this Women’s History Month we can all support today’s girls and young women on the road to becoming the leaders of tomorrow.
So often we think of women’s history as a thing of the past, but this month, let us remember that in New Jersey, across the nation, and around the world, women are working to shape our future.
Senator Barbara Buono
18th Legislative District
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