- Cincinnati Public Schools
Kilgour Participates in Girls in Government Day
Students from Kilgour School’s Girls to Women are finding their political voice after a trip to Cincinnati City Hall for Girls in Government Day.
The Girls to Women daylong event empowers students to become future leaders and changemakers by strengthening their awareness and connection to local government. Girls learn about decision-making processes, meet female community leaders and even have the chance to participate in a Cincinnati City Council meeting.
Kilgour Girls to Women started their day by boarding a limo bus and enjoyed doughnuts and juice.
City of Cincinnati Vice Mayor and CPS alum Jan-Michele Kearney welcomed the girls to City Hall and served as their host along with Iris Roley, community advocate and leader and the city’s consultant for issues related to the Collaborative Agreement. First on the agenda was a tour led by Connie Roesch, consultant and president of the Cincinnatus Association. The girls learned about the history of Cincinnati politics and the iconic building, along with the day-to-day operations of City Hall. The morning concluded at council chambers where students learned about the structure of council meetings and were invited to request to speak later in the day.
“Strong female role models in political leadership positions and careers in public service greeted our young women of all ages, colors and ethnicities,” Brenda McGee, Kilgour Girls to Women advisor, said. “They inspired the girls to become strong female leaders.”
City officials and council leaders including City Manager Sheryl Long, Vice Mayor Kearney, and Council Members Liz Keating, Scotty Johnson, Mark Jeffreys and Seth Walsh attended a lunchtime event with the students to discuss the importance of youth participation in politics. Mayor Aftab Pureval made a surprise visit and took pictures with the girls before everyone was escorted to the city council meeting.
Several students were called on during the meeting to address council members with their concerns. Paige DeVaul, sixth-grader and captain of Kilgour Girls to Women, talked about affordable housing. Paige and classmate Adela Kinnear also shared concerns about Kilgour Woods, a greenspace behind the school that may be developed. Peyton Lazar and Greta Verkamp also spoke on the topics of equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community and pedestrian and vehicle safety in high-traffic neighborhood areas.
“We learned that the most important person in the room is the citizen,” Paige said. “The mayor and council members are there to serve the people. It is important to say something and be involved so that our city can be the best it can be.”
Vice Mayor Kearney ended the council meeting with heartfelt comments about Kilgour School and Girls to Women.
“It’s important for young girls to learn that women must have a voice in future policymaking,” McGee said. “This field trip opened their eyes to another career opportunity and inspired them to seek professions in public service.”