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Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) alumna Jeanette Hughes recently attended the National Education for Women’s (N.E.W) Leadership program at the Carl Albert Center on the University of Oklahoma (OU) campus. Hughes, a recently graduated art major from Fairland, was selected through a competitive application process and spent a five-day session engaging in workshops, collaborative projects, and networking. “I had to opportunity to hear from elected officials, cabinet members, judges, and nonprofit professionals,” said Hughes. “I formed lifelong friendships during the program and engaged in workshops, campaign simulations, panel discussions, and more.”

Women make up less than twenty percent of the United States Legislature and Oklahoma ranks second to last in the nation for percentage of women in state legislatures. In order to encourage undergraduate women to get involved in the policymaking process, the award-winning N.E.W Leadership program was established in Oklahoma as part of a national network. Only about 35 women are selected for the annual institute and Hughes joined the over 500 women from 40 college and universities, and eight tribal nations to become graduates of the program. “I would recommend any woman with aspirations of leadership to apply and participate in the N.E.W. program,” added Hughes. “I was inspired to engage and shape the public agenda and I am very thankful for the opportunity.”

To find out more information about the N.E.W. Leadership program, contact Dr. Seonae or Dr. Jeff Birdsong at sbirdsong@neo.edu or jbirdsong@neo.edu. (Hughes is pictured with the other attendees and organizers.)

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