Robertson students hope to be `Governor for a Day'

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A future governor might just come from Robertson Elementary. Sixth graders Adora Perry, Olivia Morrissette, Allyson Yabut, Katherine Sweeney, Delisia Marcelino, Abi Polo and Mackenzie Maciel have entered Governor Gina Raimondo’s Governor for a Day Essay Contest.

“Girls should know that, with hard work and dedication, the opportunities available to them here in Rhode Island are endless,” the governor says in a statement on the contest website. Entrants must be 5th-8th grade girls who write an essay answering the question, “What would you do if you were Rhode Island’s Governor for a Day?” in 400 words or less. The winner will spend a day meeting with Raimondo and other female leaders across state government.

“It’s a really cool idea to have that position for a day and see what creative things we can do,” Adora said. She hasn’t met Raimondo but was once at an event where the governor spoke and found her to be a “nice woman.”

Women’s rights were important to Katherine, who said she went to a Women’s March in Providence with members of her family. Delisia also had women’s rights on her mind and added that she would visit hospitals and homeless shelters if she were governor for a day. The latter issues were big to Abi as well, who added that she’d like to help children with disabilities. Fixing potholes, buildings, roads and bridges, plus visiting and repairing schools and cleaning up streets, beaches and neighborhoods were all items on the students’ potential governor agendas.

The girls listed Raimondo, their mothers, Michelle Obama, Amelia Earhart and even Taylor Swift as their inspirations, and each is entertaining various career paths. Delisia loves to cook and hopes to someday own her own restaurant, whereas Adora and Abi both expressed interest in engineering. Abi liked the idea of being an artist or animator, too. Katherine once thought she’d like to be a doctor, but since has decided that going into art or becoming a reporter might be a better idea since she “doesn’t like blood.” Olivia is weighing many options between education, acting, drama or interior design, and Allyson thinks she’d like to become part of the teaching community.

“[The contest] was an extremely good idea and it inspired me. I think everyone should have their own say,” Olivia said.

Those who still want to enter the contest can; the deadline for submissions was recently extended to March 22. More information is available at www.governor.ri.gov/newsroom/essay. The governor’s office said it received over 400 essays in last year’s contest and anticipates getting a similar amount this year.

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