Home Local Maryland Government Announcement Originally published July 02, 2013


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Takirra Winfield
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Governor swears in eight-year old Genea Harrison for a full day of gubernatorial activities


Contest promotes the important contributions of women in Maryland; encourages young women to pursue

careers in public service


ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 2, 2013) – Governor Martin O’Malley today officially swore in eight-year-old Genea Harrison as Maryland’s first-ever “Governor for a Day.” Genea, a student heading into the fourth grade at Rosa L. Parks Elementary School, became “Governor for a Day” after her essay was selected from among more than 200 essay submissions from young women under 13 explaining why they want to be governor of Maryland and what they would do if they were “Governor for a Day. The Governor initiated this contest to encourage young women to pursue careers in public service.

“In Maryland, our diversity is our greatest strength and the accomplishments of women are an integral part of our progress as a people,” said Governor O’Malley. “We launched the ‘Governor for a Day’ contest to nurture the dreams, skills and confidence of young women so they can become the leaders of tomorrow. Genea’s key priorities are all things that will move our State forward - education, public safety, job creation and the environment. She reminds us that every choice we make counts toward a better future for our children.”

After her official swearing-in, Governor Harrison engaged in a full schedule of events, including a meeting with Taiwan Ambassador Pu-Tsung King, a women’s caucus meeting with legislators and senior administration officials, and a meeting with Lt. Governor Brown. Governor Harrison also addressed a “Congress of Educators” on the importance of environmental literacy, stream restoration and protecting the Chesapeake Bay. As part of her official duties as governor, she also helped to swear-in Jim Smith as Maryland’s Transportation Secretary and Abigail Hopper as the Director of the Maryland Energy Administration. During her afternoon staff meeting, Governor Harrison also received a call today from Julia Pierson, the first woman to be named director of the U.S. Secret Service.

“I think it is wonderful that at such a young age, Genea (Miss Harrison) is showing an interest in public service. As a woman who has spent her career in law enforcement and public service, it is encouraging to see a new generation of young women getting involved and working to make the world a better and safer place,” said Director Pierson.

“I am proud that Governor O'Malley picked me as Maryland's first-ever ‘Governor for a Day’ because I believe girls can take charge too and because I was governor today, it means that other girls like me can become whatever they want,” Governor Genea Harrison said. “Everyone can make a difference and we can all help people and make Maryland a better place to live.”

“I am so impressed by Genea and her passion for making Maryland a better place,” Senator Barbara A.  Mikulski said. “I work every day in the Senate to ensure that women are at the table and on the agenda, and that we empower women and inspire the next generation of young girls. Genea exemplifies that.”

“Congratulations to Genea Harrison for being selected from over 200 essays to serve as Maryland’s Governor for a day,” said Rep. Donna F. Edwards (MD-4). “I support Genea’s vision as governor to improve education, invest in our first responders, protect the environment, and ensure the health of the Chesapeake Bay.  It is important that we continue to encourage our young women to pursue their passions and expand their ambitions, be it in business, the STEM fields, or public service. I thank Gov. O’Malley’s administration for organizing the ‘Governor for a Day’ contest and I know Genea will make her family, Prince George’s County, and the state of Maryland proud.”

“On behalf of the residents of Prince George’s County, I want to congratulate ‘Governor for a Day’ and Prince Georgian Genea Harrison for this incredible accomplishment,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. “I encourage all Prince Georgians and Marylanders to read her inspiring essay and her laudable goals that together as Marylanders we should all be working to accomplish. Prince George’s County is very proud of ‘Governor’ Harrison and we hope that she will be a role model for all children in our County and across the State to become more involved in their communities.”     

The O'Malley-Brown Administration recognizes the achievements of women as part of the state's continued progress. One-third of all businesses in Maryland are owned by women, the country’s highest percentage, according to the National Women’s Business Council. Maryland has the second lowest wage gap between working men and women. In FY2012, Minority Business Enterprise participation reached 25.2 percent, marking the first time the State achieved its goal of 25 percent program participation. Over the past five years, awards to women-owned firms increased 59 percent, from $322.9 million in FY2007 to $550.8 million in FY2012. Forty-four percent of the Administration’s judicial appointments have been women.

To engage in the ongoing conversation about “Governor for a Day” on Twitter, use hashtag #MDgov4Day.