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At All-Girls School In Fort Worth, Speaker Nancy Pelosi Tells Students To Be Confident

Stella M. Chávez
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the Young Women's Leadership Academy in Fort Worth on Monday. She joined Democratic Congressman Marc Veasey and Principal Tamara Albury on stage to talk to students about leadership.

For Angelica and Diana Canchola, meeting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was the highlight of their day.

The 16-year-old twins introduced Pelosi to their peers and teachers at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy in downtown Fort Worth on Monday.

Pelosi and her Democratic colleague Congressman Marc Veasey dropped by the all-girls school to talk about education and leadership. The school encourages girls to pursue a degree and career in math, science and technology-related fields.

Angelica and Diana say they both want to study engineering and that hearing Pelosi talk about becoming a leader in a male-dominated arena was empowering.

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“The fact that she could come up and be Speaker of the House – the first female in history – that really resonated with me as I try to take on a role in a white male dominated field,” said Diana. “Really seeing her and how she pulled through, all the adversities in life, makes me want to do the same and pave my own path.

Credit Stella M. Chávez / KERA News
Angelica and Diana Canchola were selected to introduce their school's high-profile guests on Monday: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Marc Veasey. The girls are also on robotics teams.

Pelosi told the girls not to downplay their skills and knowledge, or change who they are. She said it was okay to brag about their project – they’re all on an all-girl robotics team.

“Just have confidence in who you are, because this attitude that somebody should not respect what that is, is more their problem than yours,” Pelosi said.

She and Veasey stressed the importance of education and said they had to study hard to achieve their goals. But not all of Pelosi’s talk was centered on education.

She also highlighted her friendship with late President George H.W. Bush and his family. She says politics today is a lot different.

“But then, there was a more respectful back and forth among people in office,” Pelosi said. “I was a new member of Congress when he was president, but we worked together. Even [though] we had our disagreements – we had disagreements between the Democrats and the Republicans – we had respect, and I loved him.”

When Pelosi marked 25 years in Congress, she says Bush invited her to speak at his library at Texas A&M University – a sign of that mutual respect and love.

Stella M. Chávez is KERA’s immigration/demographics reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35.