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For one week, the two women hobnobbed with political and civic leaders. For one week, they left their children, jobs, and studies behind. For one week, they saw the possibilities and promise of leadership.

Priscilla Southern and April Nickson are both of Chicago, both students at Governors State University studying social work, both mothers of young families, and both eager to learn whatever they can to change their world for the better. With 18 other young women from Illinois universities, they participated in the New Leadership Illinois Summer Institute sponsored by the Institute of Government and Public Affairs and the Conference of Women Legislators of the Illinois General Assembly.

Southern and Nickson, chosen for their interest in social policy, learned about how public policy is developed and how the Illinois legislative and legal system works. Politicians from state and local levels shared their expertise and experience with the women as they navigated the process of policy creation, political compromise, and legislation.