This virtual program for high school junior and senior girls is designed to elevate the next generation to pursue careers in public service and elected office. Over five two-hour sessions, students will engage in interactive and inspiring activities with exposure to women legislators, career options, and the inner workings of a political campaign. The program will culminate in a group competition to create a realistic campaign simulation.
Gov Trek is designed to address the paucity of women in the halls of power to consider careers in public service and elected office. One of the priorities of AAUW’s core mission is to inform and empower girls in an effort to close the gender gap in traditionally male-dominated fields.
Gov Trek is conducted online in five two-hour Saturday sessions, each with a different focus related to careers in politics, public service and the inner workings of a political campaign. Students learn from speakers and panelists, including current and former legislators, staffers, and consultants, and then work in groups with an adult facilitator to complete activities such as writing speeches or designing political messages. The final project to create a campaign simulation is a team competition judged by VIP industry judges with awards in several categories.
Gov Trek is designed, delivered, and administered by AAUW California. Student recruitment is managed by the 90+ local AAUW branches across California.
The program is free for students to attend.
Student registration will be opened and announced soon!
2023-2024 Gov Trek Schedule:
All sessions will be held online via Zoom
Students will meet for 6 consecutive Saturday Sessions (10AM-Noon)
- February 3
- February 10
- February 17
- February 24
- March 2
- March 9 -campaign simulation video due by midnight
Campaign Competition (10AM-12:30PM)
- March 16
Information Session (For students & branch leaders)
Come learn more about Gov Trek, the benefits, requirements, and differentiating factors that make this free leadership education program the one to attend! Bring your questions!
- November 12
Peer Group Sessions (For branch leaders)
- October 16: Gov Trek 2023-2024: What Your Branch Needs to Know
- November 12: Gov Trek 2023-2024 Information Session: For Students & Branch Leaders Come learn more about Gov Trek, the benefits, requirements, and differentiating factors that make this free leadership education program the one to attend! Bring your questions!
- January 8: Gov Trek 2023-2024: Ready? Set….Live!
- April 1: Gov Trek 2023-2024 Recap
Shauna Oenning Ruyle, AAUW California
Gov Trek Program Director
AAUW California 2023 Gov Trek’s inaugural session started with a video address from fellow Californian Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi. We were privileged to have the first woman Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives greet us as we begin our journey together to explore careers in public office and elected positions.
- Noelia Corzo for County Supervisor
- Karen Bass for Mayor
- Nikki Haley kicked off 2024 presidential campaign with calls for a new generation of leadership
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for Congress
- Gen Z Congressman Maxwell Frost on Gun Violence
- Gen Z Maxwell Frost For Congress (en Espanol)
- How To Write A Stump Speech
- What is a Stump Speech
- Campaign Stump Speech Template
- Effective Voter Mobilization https://www.impactive.io/blog/effective-voter-mobilization-5-tips-for-organizers
- Get Out The Vote With These Research-Backed Strategies https://callhub.io/get-out-the-vote-tools-tactics-strategies-guide/
- Get Out The Vote (GOTV) Field Plan
- https://youtu.be/wJRhscjf4q0 Everything Gen Z Congressman Maxwell Frost Did 1 Month Before Election Win https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x8h61es
- Sample Ad: https://twitter.com/i/status/1589998222340038656
- Sample Flyer: https://twitter.com/LeadLocally/status/1593237401228685312/photo/1
- Search for ‘Political Flyer’ or ‘Political Ad’ templates in Canva
Speakers and panelists, including current and former legislators, staffers, and consultants, will cover various careers in public service and elective office. Student activities will include attending a public meeting held by a government agency or legislative body, presenting an elevator speech, and creating a campaign simulation. The program finale will include a fun campaign team competition including helpful feedback from judges and a chance to win prizes.
In this program, participants will:
- Engage in career exploration
- Gain access to local and state women legislators and leaders
- Run through a political campaign and understand the roles involved
- Make their college applications stand out
- Learn teamwork skills
- Meet peers from across California
- Sharpen public speaking skills
- Write speeches
- Design political fliers and ads
- Conduct audience analysis for voter outreach
- Receive a resource guide for relevant college and internship programs
- Receive a certificate of completion
Rewards will be provided for campaign competition winners.
|01/28/23||10 am – noon||SESSION 1: Exploring Political Careers|
|02/11/23||10 am – noon||SESSION 2: Women’s Leadership & Political Participation|
|02/25/23||10 am – noon||SESSION 3: Ready, Set, *Live*! Campaigning 101|
|03/11/23||10 am – noon||SESSION 4: Campaign Simulation|
|03/18/23||10 am – noon||SUBMISSIONS DUE: Political Campaign Package|
|03/25/23||10 am – 12:30 pm||SESSION 5: Gov Trek Finale and Campaign Competition Live judging and awards|
|04/22/23||AAUW California Annual Event Competition winners announced and videos shared at AAUW California Annual Event|
Gov Trek Finale and Campaign Competition
The final Gov Trek project includes the creation and delivery of a political campaign package designed to make positive change in the community, state, or country. Participants will be assigned to teams of up to six members, each of whom may request what role they prefer to play in the political campaign:
- Candidate (1)
- Campaign manager (1)
- Field and volunteer manager (2)
- Communications director and speech writer (2)
Format: Campaign teams will work closely together through a realistic campaign simulation, delivering a six-minute video which includes:
- A candidate stump speech
- Voter outreach plan
- Political candidate flier and campaign ad
Time Limit: The entire video should be between five and one half and six and one half minutes long. Videos that do not fit within this timeframe will be disqualified from the competition. Videos will be uploaded to YouTube with the link submitted to [email protected] by midnight, Saturday, March 18, 2023.
Judging: Eight campaign teams will be selected to participate in the finale. Three VIP industry judges will evaluate and provide constructive feedback to the campaign teams competing in the final round. All finalists will receive The Empowered Citizens Guide: 10 Steps to Passing a Law that Matters to You. Additional awards will be provided in the following categories:
- Best Campaign Overall – Grand Prize Team – (6) Team members. Participants will be provided the opportunity to participate in a virtual internship.
- Voter Outreach Plan (VOP) – Most Persuasive – You Got Our Vote! – (2) Field & volunteer manager
- Candidate Flier & Campaign Ad – Best Digital Collateral (2) Communications director & speechwriter. Most compelling campaign artwork/digital communications
- Speech – Most Impact – (1) Candidate. Articulates well the who, why, what of the campaign and the vision for change in the community, state, and country
- Political Messaging – Most Effective – (1) Campaign manager. Clearly defined key messages, audiences, and strategies for reaching those audiences
- People’s Choice Award – (6) Team members. Favorite campaign decided by the audience (Zoom poll)
- Interested students must complete and submit their online registration by Saturday, January 14, 2023.
- Parents must complete the Eligibility, Liability and Photo Release by Thursday, January 19, 2023.
Registrations are accepted on a first come, first served basis and include two components:
To be completed by all students.
- Eligibility, Liability, and Photo Release
To be completed by the parent/guardian if the participant is under 18 years. The form will be sent after the registration is received. If the student is 18 or older, the student may complete the form release in the registration packet and no parent signature is required.
Both components must be completed in order for the student to participate in the program.