HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — Senator Shelley Moore Capito started the “West Virginia Girls Rise Up!” program back in 2015. On the morning of Wednesday, February 19, 2020, she made her 22nd stop at Meadows Elementary in Huntington. This would be her first stop in Cabell County for the program.

“This is something I want [these girls] to think about, to aspire to, to say, ‘I met that lady in fifth grade and she was a senator and that’s something I’d really like to do,” Capito said.

The program empowers elementary girls and challenges them in their education, fitness, and confidence. Joining Senator Capito at Wednesday’s event was Representative Carol Miller and Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader, both of whom are local to the area.

Chief Rader says representation led her to choose a career with the fire department. She says she was working in a jewelry store in Virginia at the time. “A woman collapsed. She had a heart attack in the doorway of the store where I was working and I felt helpless,” Rader said. “The fire department showed up, they saved her life, and there was a woman paramedic.”

Kaili Anderson, a fifth-grader, can already speak English and Japanese. She is also the student body president. Now, she’s challenging herself to “rise up” and learn a third.

“My mom likes Spanish, she works at Marshall, and she teaches Japanese,” Anderson said. “A lot of her friends speak Spanish, so I would like to learn that, too.”

This makes for Senator Capito’s twenty-second stop promoting girl empowerment… but it’s also the first stop she’s made to Cabell County.

“Young women today can aspire to be anything that they can dream,” Rader said.