Mianna Gonsalves, an 11-year-old student at Emma G. Whiteknact Elementary School in East Providence, wrote about the importance of fostering student leadership at a young age.
Her essay won the Women’s History Month essay contest, sponsored by Governor Gina Raimondo. Mianna wrote that she wanted to be Rhode Island’s Governor for a Day because “students should not have to wait until middle or high school to lead, they should get to start in elementary school.”
She hopes to promote healthy lifestyles, writing, “My school started an exercise and movement initiative. I would like to expand upon this and make it statewide. How cool would it be if all fifth graders in the state were participating in movement breaks together? Whether it’s yoga or running, I think it would be amazing if the whole state was doing it together!”
Mianna was sworn in as Governor for a Day on April 28. The Governor’s office received hundreds of submissions from middle school girls across the state.
“Mianna’s essay inspires young girls—and all students—to become leaders in their communities, and I’m excited to spend the day with her,” Raimondo said. “I want to thank all the girls who participated in the contest. Reading their enthusiastic, creative essays assures me that the future is in good hands.”
Runners up include:
Mara Oancea, 6th grade, Archie R. Cole Middle School, East Greenwich
“If I were governor for a day, I would promote women’s rights and improve STEM learning opportunities for kids. As a girl, I am well aware of the many disadvantages that women face, including salary, education, and employment opportunities.”
Hamna Naveed, 6th grade, Islamic School of Rhode Island, West Warwick
“I would also support Governor Gina Raimondo’s plan of making college education free. I think this plan is great as most people don’t attend college because of its cost. College is very important because we need good education to get a good job.”
Sanjana Maddipudi, 5th grade, Lincoln Central Elementary, Lincoln
“Bullying is one of the biggest problems facing the nation and I feel we need to spread awareness around it and fast. That’s why I’ll be stopping by some schools to talk to kids about how to prevent it from happening.”
Sarasvati Buchta, 8th grade, Martin Middle School, East Providence
“I would work to make schools safer and more supportive for LGBTQ+ and disabled students. Going to school can be hard for anyone, but especially for these students, who may face stigma and extraordinary harassment.”