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.
“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.
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.
.@SpeakerPelosi wants young women to assert themselves and not hide their accomplishments. “I want young women to know that it’s ok to brag about your robot project.” @keranews— Stella M. Chávez (@stellamchavez) March 4, 2019
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.
Kicking off Women’s History Month w/ @SpeakerPelosi & the aspiring students in #STEM at the Fort Worth Young Women’s Leadership Academy. We spoke about setting goals, having tough skin, and perseverance, and never giving up or giving in, despite obstacles and gender stereotypes. pic.twitter.com/GJiw82s68M— Rep. Marc Veasey (@RepVeasey) March 4, 2019