Marissa Merritt, a rising junior history-political science major at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, spent last week at the NEW Leadership Pennsylvania public policy institute at Chatham University in Pittsburgh.
Merritt was one of 46 young women selected to attend the intensive, week-long residential leadership institute designed to educate and empower young women for future political participation and leadership.
“We learned a lot about the underrepresentation of women in leadership and politics and were taught how to find our place in those specific settings,” said Merritt, who is from Kersey.
As part of the program, students met with state representatives and Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Superior Court justices in the capital. They also attended networking workshops, diversity training and a mock meeting with a consumer affairs committee about using nuclear energy in the Commonwealth.
“The program really taught me that I’m worth something, and while I come from an underrepresented group, I can find my own place at the table,” Merritt said.
As a student leader, Merritt is involved in the Blue and Gold Society and serves as the president of the History and International Affairs Club and secretary of the Student Government Association.