Representatives of Empower Africa Initiative were at the  recently held Leaders forum for elected officials in the state of Virginia.

As Princess Halliday described, listening to the young elected officials share their reason for wanting to be at the helm of leadership and lead authentically was really empowering.

Delegate Lashrecse Dianna Aird  an American Democratic politician, currently serving as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, representing parts of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Prince George, Hopewell, and Petersburg whom many have described as excellent in her deliveries for the state, related to Princess Halliday specifically about a child whose dream is to see the city of Richmond which is only about a few miles from Petersburg. You cannot imagine what the kids go through she said!

At only 31, Delegate Lashresce Aird has been been a member of the Virginia House or Representatives since 2015. A discussion with delegate Aird reveals how there were so much emotional moments and slander during her campaign for this position being that nobody knew her and she also did not originally come from these states which she now serves. These were strikes against her, but she had to prove herself even more. According to  Delegate Aird, she  only received a phone call saying that someone was vacating the current sit they were on, and if she would run. She thought she would be selfish not to give back to the people, hence she took the offer and ran for the position.

‒ Kyle J. Dixon – Currently a deputy treasurer for the city, holds degrees in public administration and human resource management from Virginia State University. He is also the owner and coach of the Petersburg Cavaliers basketball team.

In response to a question about the position of commissioner for revenue which he is been elected for, Dixon stated that he simply wants a change,  he  would progressively implement this change using the five point agenda which he created to further enhance and solidify the system.  “What it all comes down to is our responsibility as citizens … paying our taxes and paying on time,” he said.

Katie Sponsler, also an elected official for house of delegates who also has dedicated her life to service: eleven years in the United States Air force and four years as a Law Enforcement park ranger shared valuable exchanges with our representatives at the forum.

Will Africa ever allow for young people who are able and have the capacity to lead take up leadership roles in public offices? This question still remains unanswered !