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Shaler teen gets up-close look at state government

| Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 9:14 p.m.
Madison McIntyre, an upcoming senior at Shaler Area High School, shadowed state Rep. Dom Costa in Harrisburg while participating in the Women and Girls Foundation’s GirlGov program that gives female students the opportunity to learn about government and social change first hand.
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Madison McIntyre, an upcoming senior at Shaler Area High School, shadowed state Rep. Dom Costa in Harrisburg while participating in the Women and Girls Foundation’s GirlGov program that gives female students the opportunity to learn about government and social change first hand.

Madi McIntyre had the opportunity to learn about the government from the inside after being accepted into the Women and Girls Foundation's GirlGov program.

GirlGov provides teen women with the opportunity to learn about government and social change firsthand. McIntyre, 16, a rising senior at Shaler Area High School, was one of about 50 female students who were in Harrisburg on June 16 and 17 to meet with state legislators, staff and women who help run the state and spend a day shadowing a legislator.

McIntyre spent June 17 following state Rep. Dom Costa (D-Stanton Heights), her local legislator.

“It was really neat to get his perspective on all the bills and questions I had,” McIntyre said. “He never stopped moving. He was constantly moving and going to meetings. I really got to see the entire process of being a representative and voting on the bills and going to those meetings. … I definitely have a lot more respect for what they all do.”

Costa, in an emailed statement, said he was happy to participate in the program and introduce young students to state government.

“GirlGov is a great program that helps young women learn the ins and outs of their state government,” Costa said. “I enjoyed having Madison join me for legislative session and showing her behind-the-scenes in Harrisburg.

“I have no doubt that Madison and many of the young women in the program will be very successful in the future and I hope they consider bringing their skills into state government.”

McIntyre, who had ambitions of being a prosecuting attorney, is rethinking her career path after participating in the GirlGov program.

“I think it would be cool to be a representative and vote on the bills that would help people,” McIntyre said.

“I definitely want to take some classes in college revolving around public policy, so maybe I can push to get certain bills passed myself. I want to be more involved in government and voting. I'm so excited I get to vote in a couple years because I want to vote for representatives who will help me out.”

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or bhofstetter@tribweb.com.

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