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Local Teen Makes Her Voice Heard in Washington, D.C.

HOLYOKE — Evelyn Humphries, a Girls Inc. of Holyoke Eureka! scholar, joined nine girls from six states for a four-day trip to Washington, D.C. to advocate on behalf of girls across the country. After a year of meeting virtually, this was the first time the girls from the Girls Action Network (GAN) came together in person.

In addition to participating in leadership and public-speaking training, the girls held meetings with several senators. The girls, all 14 to 18 years old, didn’t shy away from tough conversations — they discussed issues important to them, including immigration, gun safety, and student anti-discrimination policies. Highlights included visiting with U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Dianne Feinstein. They also met Melyssa Guerrero, a Girls Inc. alumna who works in U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen’s office, and Carla Hayden, the first female librarian of Congress.

“I was truly inspired to see Evie and the other teen girls advocate for positive change,” said Suzanne Parker, executive director at Girls Inc. of Holyoke. “It’s important for all of us to hear the voices of young people, especially when it comes to things that impact their lives.”

GAN helped to develop the Girls Inc. national policy agenda and to mobilize grassroots action across the Girls Inc. network. Throughout the year, the girls received practical resources, training, and hands-on experience so they were ready to enact change in their local communities. The Girls Inc. Public Policy Office organized the trip to Washington, D.C.

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