Two women who each received a scholarship from WILEF to attend the Women’s Campaign School at Yale traveled to New York last week to express their appreciation for the financial assistance, giving inspiring remarks at the WILEF annual meeting.
Adjoa B. Asamoah, a doctoral candidate at George Washington University, and Shelley M. Henderson, a recent graduate of Trinity Law School, were each awarded $2,500 to attend the intensive week-long campaign school.
Asamoah spoke about her passion to fight for marginalized people, which she said was fueled by a formative trip she took as a child to West Africa, where she visited slave dungeons that once held her ancestors.
“I asked nine-year-old questions, like how this happened and why and what I could do?” she said. “That experience and those answers impacted me. So at the age of nine, I knew I wanted to fight for marginalized people.”
The Women’s Campaign School, Asamoah said, is a “game-changer,” which has empowered her to help elect women candidates for public office.
“Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know,” she said. “That experience was like no other.”
Henderson, a former candidate for Newport Beach, California City Council and who worked in the Office of Public Liaison of the White House under President George W. Bush, credited the campaign school for giving her the skills to fundraise and build coalitions.
“I knew I needed to be trained,” she said. “I needed someone to come along and invest me.”
Henderson added: “What I know now is: I can win and I will win.”
In a surprise, Henderson presented WILEF with a check for $1,000 to ensure that the organization sponsors a woman next year to attend the campaign school. It was, she said, a way to “pay it forward.”