PROVIDENCE — A fifth-grade student at the Ashton Elementary School in Cumberland has been selected to spend a day as Rhode Island’s governor, as part of Gov. Gina Raimondo’s observances of Women’s History Month.

Raimondo announced on Monday that Rhode Island’s 2019 Governor for a Day is Cadence Solon of the Ashton Elementary in Cumberland, who won an essay contest with her entry about equal pay for women, the need for ESL and special education teachers, and school construction in Rhode Island.

“Cadence wrote a fantastic essay about important issues facing our state,” Raimondo said of the Cumberland student. “Her passion for education is inspiring, and I can’t wait for her to be sworn in as Rhode Island’s 2019 Governor for a Day!”

Cadence will be joining Raimondo at the Statehouse in early May and follow the governor through her daily activities.

Cadence’s essay addressed several concerns she had over education.

“Of all the things I would like to change, what I would start with is to have more teachers in school to help children that don’t speak English or have disabilities,” the student wrote. “Just like we should support our communities with roads and bridges; also we need to support our children’s future and the world they will live in. The way I would achieve this is by sitting down to talk with principals and leaders for schools all across Rhode Island to make sure we have enough space and enough new special teachers. This is important because to succeed some students need help.”

The governor’s office received submissions from girls across the state as part of the essay contest.

“Thank you to all the incredible young women who submitted essays or videos,” Raimondo said “It’s fantastic to see the next generation of Rhode Island leaders already stepping up and making a difference in our state.”

The follow are excerpts from other students submitting essays.

Yaquelin Hernandez, eighth grade, Segue Institute for Learning – Central Falls:

“I believe our schooling is important for our futures. I worry about my peers because if they stop studying they will not be able to get a job. A plan I have to solve this problem with the youth in my community is to provide education that focuses on what they want to learn and provides them with classes based on their interests. I would provide them with internships in a specific field so that they may feel uplifted and seek their passion.”

Daje’E McDonald, fifth grade, Emma G. Whitenact Elementary – East Providence:

 “Sometimes all we need is someone to talk to and treat us like the amazing individuals we are. It is my hope that as Governor of Rhode Island for a day, I will be able to start the conversation about how to train anyone who works with youth who are in or have been in foster care.

Tessa Comfort, eighth grade, Gallagher Middle School – Smithfield:

“If I was RI Governor for a day I would contact every school in RI and try to pass legislature to insure that all public schools have a GSA club. A GSA club is a Gay Student Alliance; a club where all LGBTQ+ students can come together to discuss their personal experiences of being LGBTQ+. These clubs would be completely confidential and students would be able to share their current struggles, challenges, and obstacles.”

Lily Hannuksela, sixth grade, Davisville Middle School – North Kingstown: 

“Teaching young children coding and robotics is very important for the future of Rhode Island. Robotics is becoming more essential as we move into the forthcoming years. New generations will have more opportunities and choices for colleges and jobs.”

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