By Carly Madsen, with contributions from Ewurama Appiagyei-Dankah, Mariaeugenia Gurdian and Meghan Pearce

The summer is almost over and you might soon be stocking up on school supplies to help you excel this year, whether in-person or online. I know I am — I’m heading to law school this year! While you’re grabbing notebooks, highlighters, and a gorgeous day planner, take a look at the checklist below to help you prepare to get involved with student government.

Did you know that more than 50% of women politicians in the US started out in student government? Seeking leadership opportunities as a…


By Ellie Hodges, with Sandra Ochoa

Just before the start of the first day of the Running Start High School Program, my finger hovered over a Zoom button. I needed to fill up my glass of water, change my top — anything to give me an extra minute before facing a new group of incredibly qualified people.

Eventually I forced my finger onto my keyboard and joined the Zoom, but my fear didn’t go away. As Running Start staff introduced themselves, I considered just keeping my mouth shut for the next four weeks.

Then we started talking to each other…


By Tarina Ahuja

Running Start helped me find the answers to questions I have been asking since I was a little girl.

I used to question myself, my role, my belonging. As an overly excited, talkative, little girl with olive skin and long black hair that I keep as a symbol of my faith, there was something about me that always stuck out. …


By Carly Roberts

The murder of Sarah Everard in England earlier this month, coupled with the murders of eight people (six of whom were Asian women: Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Xiaojie Tan and Daoyou Feng) in Atlanta-area spas, has sparked international outrage and shone a light on the epidemic of violence experienced by women at the hands of men. …


By Rocío Ortega

This post is not an endorsement of any political candidates or parties.

This Women’s History month, I want to highlight a fierce legislator I admire and have worked with. She is the first in her family to graduate from college, a daughter of immigrants, and is committed to ending violence against women — she has even gone undercover to arrest a sex trafficking ring!

Her name is Nury Martinez and in January 2020, she became the first Latina City Council President in the Los Angeles City Council’s 170 year history. …


By Elizabeth Triece

This post is not an endorsement of any political candidates or parties.

In 1917, only a handful of states allowed women to vote, but it was also the year the first woman was elected to the United States House of Representatives. Jeannette Rankin of Montana was a women’s rights advocate. Shortly after assuming office, Congresswoman Rankin introduced legislation that would become the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women in all states the right to vote. It was not ratified until 1920, three years after she first won her seat in the House of Representatives, but that…


We asked Kylah, Oriana and Tarina, three alumnae of Running Start’s High School Program, what they learned from the experience. They described the program as supportive, unmatched and powerful, and they shared the reason why they would “a million times over” recommend it to others and their advice for our Summer 2021 participants.

Interested in the Running Start Summer 2021 High School Program? Learn more and apply by February 15 (for priority review) or April 30 (regular deadline): bit.ly/ApplyHS-Now

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

What was the most valuable moment, experience or connection you had during the High School Program?

Kylah Hughley: I met so many talented, intelligent and beautiful women during this program…


Every February since 1976 has been designated Black History Month in the United States, with the intention of celebrating the unique accomplishments, identities and culture(s) of Black people across the country and the world.

Running Start is celebrating Black History Month in part by uplifting past blog posts written by some of the incredible Black women in our community. They are all trailblazers in their own right, contributing to representation and inclusion of young Black women in politics. Read on to learn more about them and why they’re committed to being leaders!

Pictured, L-R: Allyson Carpenter, Cierra Jackson, Reniya Dinkins and a group of high school women, Ewurama Appiagyei-Dankah, Yolian Ogbu.

How do I know #ILookLikeAPolitician?

By Yolian Ogbu

This post from Running Start’s…


Three alumnae of Running Start’s Fall Mentorship Program reflect on their transformative experience. Though they all had different goals, they found that the supportive community of the program — made up of peer mentorship “mastermind” sessions and question-and-answer sessions with high-level women leaders — helped them grow both professionally and personally, with astonishing results.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

What drew you to apply for the Fall Mentorship Program?

Lubna: Susannah emailed me, telling me that she thought I should apply, and I was grateful for the potential growth opportunity. …


By Serena Saunders

Amid closing out my work responsibilities for the year, studying for final exams and baking holiday cookies with my mom, I always try to use December to reflect on the months before it. This year’s no different: I’m thinking about ways I’ve grown professionally, made new connections and tried to expand my horizons.

In particular, I’m looking at ways to reconnect with old mentors, such as professors who have written me recommendation letters and internship coordinators who connected me to other opportunities. But I don’t need anything from them now, which brought me to (what I think…

Running Start

Giving young women the Running Start they need to achieve political power through education & inspiration. Nonpartisan.

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