NASHUA — New Hampshire’s first Kid Governor, hailing from Nashua, says her campaign has helped her step out of her comfort zone.
Thrust into the spotlight last month when she was sworn in as the 2019 New Hampshire Kid Governor, Lola Giannelli said the election win is making her more confident in her abilities, specifically her public speaking.
This week, a Nashua Board of Education committee presented Giannelli with a certificate of accomplishment, praising her for working hard to obtain the coveted role among New Hampshire’s youth.
“I was very shy, and I thought when I came home with the (election) paper and told my mom about it, it would boost my confidence and make me less shy,” said Giannelli, a fifth-grader at Sunset Heights Elementary School.
The Kid Governor campaign, a civics education program for fifth-graders created by the Connecticut Democracy Center in 2015, garnered participation from more than 450 students statewide.
Giannelli’s campaign platform focused on animal cruelty, a topic that she says is close to her heart.
“I want to have a law that the people in pet stores can’t sell any dogs, rabbits or cats unless they come from a nonprofit organization or shelter,” she said, explaining the ultimate goal is to end puppy mills.
Giannelli has her own chief of staff at St. Anselm College, as well as a two-member executive council. She will be working with Rep. Patricia Klee of Nashua to participate in a workshop that explains how a bill is introduced and becomes a law.
The new kid governor is hopeful that a state representative will be interested in her campaign and possibly be willing to introduce a bill addressing animal cruelty.
Luane Genest, state coordinator for the New Hampshire Kid Governor program, said Giannelli will serve as an ambassador and speak with local fourth-graders about the civics education program. Giannelli will also work this summer to bring awareness to her cause, as well as the platforms of her two executive councilors — poverty and school lunch waste.
The young girl believes that she can make a difference by helping give animals a voice. She also intends on creating an after-school club where city children can make toys for dogs, as well as hosting food and blanket drives for less fortunate dogs.
Giannelli already has her own desk inside of Mayor Jim Donchess’ office.
“Children do have a voice and can make such a difference in the community. This really does encourage civic engagement,” Genest said of the program.