Cassandra Levesque, a 19 year old Girl Scout, was elected to the New Hampshire state legislature Tuesday. Levesque made news a few years prior for successfully lobbying the state to end child marriages as part of her Girl Scout Project. Before Levesque’s campaign, the legal age of marriage in New Hampshire was only 13 years old.
Levesque led a campaign at 17 years old to end child marriage only to be dismissed by a state legislator who said it was ridiculous to raise the age of marriage because “of a request from a minor doing a Girl Scout project.” This past summer because of Levesque’s campaign, the age of marriage in New Hampshire was raised to 16. Levesque then decided to run for office because she felt youths are not represented in the state legislature and the policy making process.
In 2015, the average age of a New Hampshire legislator was 66 years old. Levesque stated that the legislators “have had some trouble trying to get into the mindset of generations after them – it’s a totally different time than when they were my age.”
After her election, Levesque wants to continue focusing on ending child marriage through raising the age of marriage from 16 to 18. She wants to push other youth-centered initiatives as well, such as college affordability and jobs for young people in New Hampshire.
Media Resources: Women in the World 11/15/18