INDIANAPOLIS — Wednesday morning was a historic moment for both Elyssa Campodonico-Barr and Taylor Conner as they watch Vice President Kamala Harris sworn into office.
“It's a powerful moment in the lives of girls. If you can see people who look like you in positions of influence and power and where you want to be, you can dream it, you can be it in the future,” Campodonico-Barr said.
“If a woman can become vice president, I can work past the biases, the prejudices that would keep me from becoming a physician, that would keep me from opening my own practice," Conner said.
Both women are involved with the non-profit Girls Incorporated of Greater Indianapolis. For 50 years, the organization has encouraged young women in leadership.
"Vice President Harris says this herself is that she might be the first but she most certainly will not be the last so having girls like Taylor take those seats in the future means everything to us at Girl Inc.,” Campodonico-Barr said.
Conner is a Herron High School senior is one of three-thousand young women involved with Girls Inc. every year. She joined three years ago, around the time Campodonico-Barr became the president and CEO.
Harris' achievements are paving the way, Campodonico-Barr said, for the next generation of female leaders. She felt today is also a day to remember all of the women who blazed the trail before her.
"This is such a moment for us, for all of us," Campodonico-Barr said. "Every citizen, no matter your gender, it's a big moment for our country, and we should all take stock in it."
Harris is the first female, Black, Asian-American, and child of immigrant parents to become Vice President, but Conner said this moment is much more than that.
"It's great to have the representation that she happens to be a woman, happens to be a person of color, she happens to be a child of immigrants, but she also has every single criteria that makes her a fit and effective leader,” Conner said.
Both women agree the work does not stop here. There are doors yet to be kicked open and to them, there is now hope.
"You're not going to tell me, you're not going to tell any other woman in this country that she is not capable,” Conner said.