Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne recently discussed her career path with young women during the 2013 Ignite Texas Young Women’s Leadership Conference, which was held at the University of North Texas at Dallas.

“I enjoy talking with young women because I want them to follow their dreams and excel in life,” said Van Duyne said. “Women can do anything they want to do. They just need to define their beliefs, set their vision and goals and focus. With hard work and tenacity, they can get there.”

Ignite serves young women from 14-22 years of age in their own communities, and places an emphasis on lower-income women. The organization was founded in 2009 to build young women’s political ambition and train them to run for office. Numbers show women don’t run for office at the same rates as men.

“Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne was phenomenal; she was able to share about her experience and it truly inspired the young women,” said Sarah Davenport, Ignite Texas program director. “Ignite Texas is grateful to have her support.”

Each high school and college student who attended the conference filled out evaluation forms. The participants’ anonymous assessments proved Ignite’s approach is a successful one.

“I liked eating with the Mayor of Irving, because I realized you don’t need to be someone well known to become someone big and someone people look up to,” one student wrote in her conference evaluation.

Van Duyne praised Ignite and its efforts to help young women realize their potential.

“Ignite is a valuable program because it helps build ambition among young women,” said Van Duyne. “It catches them early and helps encourage and inspire them to become leaders in whatever field they choose.”


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