Allegheny College junior Dalia Wellens came away from the recent Ready to Run Pittsburgh campaign training program not only with knowledge about seeking elected office, but also newfound confidence.
“Knowing that there are women who are pursuing careers in politics despite the male-dominated atmosphere is incredibly inspiring and helped me to see where I want to be in 10 to 15 years,” said Wellens, an environmental studies and political science double major from Seattle.
Ready to Run Pittsburgh is a bipartisan training program to encourage women to seek government leadership positions. Wellens and fellow Allegheny students Hayley Diemer, Dakotah Manson and Sarah Shapley attended the daylong program this winter at Chatham University. They received financial support to participate in the event primarily from Allegheny College trustee and alumna Jennifer Daurora, with supplemental funding from the College’s Center for Political Participation.
Shapley, a sophomore from Fairport, New York, attended Ready to Run to explore her own interest in politics and ways she could support other women running for office.
“I think being involved in politics is a crucial and necessary duty,” said Shapley, an international studies major who is minoring in women’s, gender and sexuality studies. “I particularly think that more women should get involved in politics and take a leading role.”
Shapley said Ready to Run gave her insight into how local politics work in Pennsylvania and how women are addressing the specific challenges they face while running for and serving in public office.
Wellens recommends the program to other women at Allegheny who are considering careers in public service. It’s a short time commitment and very educational, she said. “You also meet a lot of amazing women who have a wide range of experiences that you can connect with,” Wellens added.
Ready to Run Pittsburgh is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics at Chatham University. Allegheny graduate Dana Brown, Ph.D., serves as the center’s executive director and an assistant professor of political science at Chatham.