Girls Inc. of Owensboro has found a way to ensure that voters can make a lasting impact beyond their polling locations.
According to their website, “Girls Incorporated is a national, nonprofit youth organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Girls Incorporated of Owensboro-Daviess County has been in the community since 1969 as a provider of quality, informal educational opportunities for girls between the ages of 6 and 18.”
Girls Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tish Correa Osborne said one of those educational opportunities is teaching and encouraging the girls about the voting process.
“At Girls Inc., we have always encouraged the girls to vote,” Osborne said. “We want the girls to get out the vote and teach them that it’s not intimidating.”
Osborne said she usually takes the girls with her to vote, but last year she attempted going to the polls by herself. The volunteers quickly asked where the girls were, so she found herself returning to Girls Inc. to retrieve several girls so that they could accompany her in the voting process.
This year, Osborne said, with school out and access to the Girls Inc. vans, they feel they can impact the community in a much bigger way.
Not only is Girls Inc. offering complimentary rides to polling locations, they are also offering voters the opportunity to share with up to six young ladies and educate them on the voting process.
“We don’t want people to tell the girls who they are voting for,” Osborne said. “We want girls to learn about why they [people] choose to vote, so they [the girls] can think about those things in the future.”
Osborne said this is an important opportunity for girls to learn interpersonal skills and that voters are people that come from all walks of life. She also feels it is necessary for the girls to learn the fundamentals of Election Day such as voting is a private process, where their polling place is located, what identification to bring and the rules involved.
“It’s all about the experience,” Osborne said. “Even a six-year-old can learn even though it will be years before she can vote; it will still have an impact on her. It will help dispel all those myths of ‘my vote doesn’t count.’”
Rides will be offered at both Girls Inc. locations at no cost and everyone that rides receives “a little thank you.”
If you would like the opportunity to ride with the girls of Girls Inc. call 270-684-7833 to be picked up or you may report to the Rolling Heights Campus at 2130-G East 19th St. or the Owensboro Christian Church Campus at 2818 New Hartford Rd. from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m today.
***Polling locations must be within City limits and vans are not handicap accessible.
Melody Wallace, Owensboro Times