Each March we celebrate National Women's History Month -- a month during which we highlight and celebrate the many contributions of women. This year, we focus on women's education. In fact, this year's theme "Women's Education -- Women's Empowerment", has struck a special chord with me. As a former teacher, I know the critical role education plays in the development of a new generation of women leaders. Receiving a quality education undoubtedly offers a vital opportunity to succeed in life.
Less than 100 years ago, the 19th Amendment was signed into law, giving women the right to vote. However, the trajectory and struggle for women's rights did not end with suffrage. Indeed, suffrage opened the door for women to fully participate in the democratic process and use it to further the cause of equality. The women who led the suffrage movement were not asking for any special rights or privileges. They simply wanted to be counted as equal and full citizens of this great nation. They wanted to do their part and help our country. South Florida has had its fair-share of incredible trailblazers. Women like Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, Audrey Finklestein, Athalie Range and Teresa Zubizarreta have been leaders and pillars of our community. They did not set out to break barriers, they simply wanted to use their talents and have the opportunity to follow their dream.
While women have made great strides securing rights, it is important to remember the young women who need strong role models and an encouraging environment so that they can take advantage of educational opportunities and grow up to become strong women of character. Investing in women's education is an investment in our future as the young women of today will lead the charge to transform themselves, their communities, and the world. I am incredibly proud that in my home state of Florida, so many concerned citizens have recognized the importance of educating, encouraging, and empowering young women.
South Florida is home to several remarkable organizations that encourage young women to reach their maximum potential. One such remarkable organization is the Honey Shine Mentoring Program which seeks to empower young women by providing mentorship and leadership opportunities in an encouraging and supportive environment. Another great South Florida organization is Strong Women Strong Girls, which utilizes the lessons learned from strong women throughout history to encourage girls and young women to become strong women themselves. This model aids the girls and young women in developing strong skills, building leadership and forming goals for future success.
These organizations, and many others, are the result of concerned citizens taking action to better their communities. I applaud these and countless many more Floridians who have responded to the challenges facing women and girls in our country. As we commemorate Women's History Month, we must continue to honor the tremendous contributions women have made and renew our commitment to advancing the rights of women everywhere. I also encourage you to take the time to consider the ways you can better the lives of those living in your community.
For more information on National Women's History Month, and upcoming events in your area, please visit: