More women are stepping into politics and a local organization is helping. The organization is called Emerge Louisiana and it’s celebrating its first graduating class of 22 women on the road to political office.
"I feel great being here. I feel a sense of accomplishment,” one graduate said.
22 women are making sure their voices are now heard in politics.
" I feel excited about graduating from the inaugural emerge Louisiana class,” another graduate said.
The program trained women on how to handle themselves in the political arena. The women go through six months and learn things like media relations, public speaking and campaign fundraising.
Women like Victoria Coy say the program helped to be a stronger candidate when entering politics.
“I think as women we struggle with that feeling of not being good enough,” Coy said.
She says the program also helped her realize she can make a difference.
"It's a feeling that's simultaneously humbling and empowering, to meet so many other women who are doing amazing things.”
Members say, since 2002, Emerge America, which Emerge Louisiana is under, has trained 4,000 women. They say out of 4,000, 70 percent have won their races.
Members say the training program is like having a network of sisters for support. It’s something the first woman Mayor on New Orleans LaToya Cantrell mentioned in her speech as guest speaker.
"That's what we have to be to one another, and we have to be real in our interactions with one another,” Cantrell said.
While these women plan to make their mark in politics, Coy’s father, who attended, couldn’t hold back his tears.
"I'm hoping she's happy, to be honest with ya, if she chooses to go into elected office I wish her success there," Coy’s father said.
Emerge Louisiana plans to start the next class in January 2019.
Duke Carter can be reached at email@example.com.