Inspired by little Christina, freshman aims for public office - Tucson News Now

Inspired by little Christina, freshman aims for public office

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - Some might think that after the January 8 shooting that left six people dead and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords fighting for her life, young women might not want a life in politics.

However for one Tucson girl who was at Safeway that fateful day, her love for politics only grew. Six months after the her mom shielded her from bullets leaving a shooter's gun, Emma McMahon is packing her bags and headed to Washington D.C. and preparing herself for a life in politics.

 "Hopefully down the road I will become an elected official," said McMahon. Having just turned 18, Emma will be a political science major at Wellesley College this fall. 

Her skills will be primed with the Young Women's Political Leadership program put on by Running Start. She will spend a week in Washington D.C. rubbing elbows and learning from women currently involved in politics. This is a program that congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords took part in and one that will forever honor Christina Taylor Green.

Her parents John and Roxanna have created a scholarship to help young women get involved in Running Start.

"Their are girls out there that are younger that might be mature for their age and have an interest in public service or politics," said Roxanna Green. 

Emma was the recipient of this years scholarship and she was hand picked by the Greens after they read her essay.

"So me and my family decided to go to her January 8 Congress on your corner event a few minutes away from my home in southern Arizona, like Christina I was standing in line when the shooting started," Emma wrote in her essay.

Susanna Shakow, the President of Running Start, is thrilled to have Emma participate.

"We hope that when Emma goes through the program she will be doing it in the name of Christina Taylor Green and that she will leave even more inspired that before about politics," she said.

Today she's not scared, instead she's sure that she wants to dedicate her life to public service but has a better understanding of what it might take.

"It's made me realize I can work really hard but there are still things that can hit you out of nowhere and that you have no control," Emma said.

Her hard work is just starting. She says the little shoes of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, are big ones to fill.

"I hope that I can live up to what they expect of me," said Emma. She leaves July 18th for a week in Washington D.C. The running start program brings young female elected officials to speak to girls about what it is like to run as a young woman, how to get involved on a local level.

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