GiGi Farley says she knows what her future holds.
GiGi, the 10-year-old daughter of state Rep. Steve Farley, won't need to take career-aptitude tests when she gets older. Her career choice is already crystal clear: president of the United States.
While it sounds endearing that a young girl wants to be president, GiGi—a self-proclaimed "Earth-saving, animal-loving kind person"—is serious and knowledgeable about her choice.
She's already in the planning stages: She watches the Today show each weekday morning—it's her favorite program—so that she "gets to know what is going on with the economy and current issues." She has an adviser (Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords), campaign manager and brochure designer. In November 2006, she approached then-Gov. Janet Napolitano at a polling place and asked if she would be her chief fundraiser. Napolitano's response: "Yes, if I live long enough."
GiGi also knows her steps to the White House: "First, I'll run for city council. Then I'll run for state representative. Then I'll try to run for governor. And then U.S. senator and then president." GiGi is eligible to run for president in 2036.
Her desire is to "help America become a better place." Issues high on her priority list are health care and global warming.
GiGi's interest in becoming president started when she was 7. Her interest in current affairs was already firmly established: During a trip to the movies, she chose to see An Inconvenient Truth instead of Cars. She also encouraged her father to purchase an eco-friendly Toyota Prius.
Interest and planning aside, GiGi shows remarkable leadership and confidence for her age. She recalls an incident at school that happened a few years ago. "I was on the playground looking for someone to play with. This boy pinned me up against the fence. There were some others girls there, and they told me they were going to keep me there 'until I die.' I was strong and broke free. I went and told the monitor, and he said to stay away from them. I said, 'Other girls are being hurt over there.' He didn't do anything."
GiGi told her mother, who talked to the teacher and then the counselor. The boy was asked to apologize to GiGi, but he later asked her why it was such a big deal. Her astute reply was that what may be a small deal to some people may be a big deal to others.
GiGi feels it's important to stand up for what's right and points to her parents and Hillary Clinton as role models. She's also big on going after her dreams and encourages others to do so. "No matter if you're rich, or if you're poor, if you're tall or short, always go out and get it."
Her father has enjoyed watching GiGi's interest in politics. "I've just been amazed at how she seems to be fearless in going up in front of crowds, particularly in front of these political events. It doesn't matter whether there are other adults asking very sophisticated questions. She comes up with a very sophisticated question that she really wants to know the answer to, and it's totally relevant," says Farley.
While 2036 is a while down the road, we can read what GiGi has to say about becoming president in the recently released She's Out There: Essays by 35 Young Women Who Aspire to Lead the Nation, edited by Amy Sewell and Heather L. Ogilvie. GiGi's essay was selected out of hundreds from around the country. She will be attending a book-signing at 2 p.m., Saturday, June 13, at Borders, 5870 E. Broadway Blvd.
GiGi is excited to attend the book-signing and hopes to be on television, too. She says she's very open to the press and conducted herself like an old pro during our interview.
But most telling about GiGi is a casual comment she made to me when recalling the school-bully incident: "I wasn't worrying about what would happen to me; I was worried about what would happen to the other girls." Knowledgeable, confident and concerned for the welfare of others? It sounds like GiGi has the right stuff to make a positive difference.