Thursday, 22 August 2013 00:00
Adriana Rubertone, an incoming senior at North Shore High School, recently encouraged U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to give the keynote speech at the American Legion’s
Empire Girls State convention. In June, Rubertone was selected to attend the American Legion’s Empire Girls State convention, a prestigious annual leadership program for young women at SUNY Brockport. After discovering that a keynote speaker was not customary for the Girls State event, but the boys program usually featured a high-profile political guest speaker, Rubertone set out to correct the imbalance between the two programs.
On June 8, she sent letters to three prominent officials inviting them to speak at Girls State. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a prominent Senator and top promoter of women’s rights in the Senate, accepted her invitation.
Upon hearing the wonderful news, Adriana stated, “I was beyond excited when I heard back from Senator Gillibrand. This experience has been eye-opening for me. It has made me feel accomplished not only because I was instrumental in getting a U.S. Senator to speak about her personal experiences, but it will inspire many girls who may wish to take the same path.” She continued by saying, “It is common for people in your life to tell you that it is important to voice your opinions when you see something wrong in society.
For me, I was motivated by my AP United States History teacher, Mr. Perles, to do so. Now, I truly believe that one person, even one letter, can make a huge difference for gaining equality.”
Senator Gillibrand commented, “The letter that Adriana sent was very bold, very determined. And I decided that we should reward that boldness.”
In addition, Rubertone has been instrumental in initiating a new club at North Shore High School for Women’s Empowerment.
“I would like this story to inspire people to voice their opinions,” said Rubertone. “Being in a democratic society does not only mean that politicians must try to represent their people, but it also means that people must try their hardest to tell their politicians, local or national, how they feel. For young women, I would like to reassure them that they can do anything. Do not be afraid to assert your ideas; for you can always make a difference, and you can always change the status quo.”