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Making a Difference: Olympia Snowe Women's Leadership Institute

Olympia luncheon.JPG

(PORTLAND) WGME -- Former Maine Senator Olympia Snowe is helping to guide high school girls in Maine through the Olympia Snowe Women's Leadership Institute. Hundreds of people gathered for the luncheon celebrating the organization's third year of mentoring and advising high school sophomore, junior and senior girls in every Maine county.

"We started out with 49 girls in seven high schools and now we're participating in 36 high schools in every county in Maine with 330 girls, expected to grow to 540 next year," former Senator Olympia Snowe said.

Each of those girls is paired with an advisor - 130 women from all over Maine, ready to share their experiences, wisdom and support.

"I used to have trouble raising my hand, which I know sounds silly. I feel like now I'm more present in class. I'm involved more and I think the program's really helped with that," Morse High School Junior Samantha Myers said.

Westbrook High School sophomore Zainab Almatwari says she is learning to trust her voice.

"We need that, especially in high school. No matter how strong a person is, getting support from adults is amazing," Almatwari said.

The curriculum focuses on values, voice and vision.

"We want to amke sure that they fulfill and reach potential in whatever they choose to do. That they can be whoever and whatever they want to be and choose whatever path and we are here to support them in that endeavor," Senator Snowe said.

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