We are proud to actively empower women and inspire young girls to rise up to positions of leadership and fulfill their dreams. Our “CK Girls For Prez” campaign highlights women and girls in our community that are dedicated to making a difference and breaking barriers. Today, we are proud to introduce you to Jenny Gusella, a CK editorial guest author, local certified personal trainer and strong, amazing woman. Our “CK Girls For Prez” campaign resonates with Jenny and we hope you are inspired by her own personal story and join us as we echo the sentiment that says “empowered women empower women”. Together, we are breaking barriers for future generations, erasing self-doubt and furthering the progress of women in leadership roles in our country.

Here is Jenny’s story:

‘In the third grade, my teacher was dating a professional football player, and one day she brought him into class to sign autographs and take pictures with us. When it was my turn to get my picture taken, my teacher smiled at her boyfriend and loudly said “this is Jen – she is going to be our first female President!’. Immediately, my face went red hot with embarrassment. Even though her statement was well-intentioned, and even though I was only in the third grade, I felt my classmate’s perception of me.

My fears became truth to me – that expressing my opinions was obnoxious. That my leadership was bossy and controlling. That my desire to have my thoughts and feelings heard was unbecoming…or, dare I say…nasty?

All of this self-doubt and shame, brought about by one phrase: ‘first female President’.

Maybe now, as those barriers become a little lighter by seeing powerful, smart women running for, and holding, office, those fine lines will get a little bit wider. Maybe now, outspoken little girls can be inspired to become women who trust that what they have to say matters, too…and, that maybe, I won’t have to run for President after all as we now have a generation of young women ready to rise up and lead knowing that the “first female President” is a badge to wear with honor and conviction.’

As a part of our “CK Girls For Prez” campaign, we have donated $250 to sheshouldrun.org to help reach equal representation in public leadership (thank you to everyone who ordered our pop up this week to support this mission!). By identifying and tackling the barriers to elected leadership, She Should Run convinces women from all political learnings, ethnicities, sexual identities, and backgrounds to see themselves as future candidates.

From all of us here at CK, we say “A woman’s place is in the House – and Senate”.

Jenny’s “Girls For Prez” button is made by Hemlock Goods. We are proud to feature their new Votes For Women Collection.