The ATHENA Young Professional Award honors a woman leader, age 24-35, who demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in her profession, improves the quality of life in her community and clearly serves as a personal and professional role model for young women.

In honor of this election season, we asked this year’s ATHENA Young
Professional Award finalists, Catherine Alonzo of Javelina; Julia Meyerson of Vista College Prep and Vanessa Valenzuela Erickson of Partnership for Economic Innovation, to imagine themselves in some pretty big shoes – those of a presidential candidate.

As the hypothetical first woman presidential candidates were considering their major policy positions and priorities, they were also required to decide who their vice presidential running mate would be.

Catherine Alonzo: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts or Ruben Alonzo, chief of staff for operations, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

“I think Elizabeth has a real drive and a vision that people tap into and I think she would be very effective in office.”

“Secondly, and I don’t think this would ever be allowed, but if I could, I would pick my husband because that would be super fun, even though it might be a strain on our marriage! We actually met working and we work very well together. We have different strengths and I think that is why we liked each other so much in the beginning. I just love being on the same team with him.”

Julia Meyerson: Sonia Sotomayor, associate justice, U.S. Supreme Court

“As the first Latina Supreme Court justice, she is an inspiration to our students. We are incredibly focused on ensuring that there are strong role models that are reflective of our student body. I think her story is inspirational and I think she is incredibly smart. I would actually like to have coffee with her and I think I would be able to do that if she was my vice president.”

Vanessa Valenzuela Erickson: Juliette Gordon Low, founder, Girl Scouts

“She was an amazingly enterprising woman. She was focused on diversity when diversity and inclusion was not a thing. I think we see now the incredible results of her efforts.”

The 29th Annual ATHENA Awards Luncheon is on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Click here to register.

Posted by Danny Imes