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Newport Daily News - Thursday, April 23, 2015 - Governor for a Day
Governor for a Day
Thompson Middle School fifth-grader Khatima Bulmer found out Wednesday just how busy the life of a state governor can be.
The 11-year-old Newport girl served as Governor for a Day in honor of her winning entry in Gov. Gina Raimondo’s Women’s History Month essay contest. After being sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Maureen McKenna Goldberg during a morning ceremony at the Statehouse in Providence, Khatima had a full schedule of meetings and appearances around the state.
She met with the governor’s senior staff and attended a roundtable discussion with members of the General Assembly, including Sen. Erin P. Lynch, D-Warwick; Sen. Gayle L. Goldin, D-Providence; Rep. Anastasia P. Williams, D-Providence; and Rep. Deborah A. Fellela, D-Johnston. Khatima also met with Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea.
Next it was off to Roger Williams Park in Providence for an Earth Day event to announce water quality protection and restoration grants. Also attending were Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and North Providence Mayor Charles A. Lombardi.
While on the road, Khatima called Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt and Board of Education Chairwoman Barbara Cottam.
The Governor for a Day’s entourage stopped for a quick lunch at Gregg’s Restaurant in North Kingstown before heading to the last two stops of the day: planting a tree outside of her school, Thompson Middle School in Newport, and attending a groundbreaking ceremony for the new St. Clare-Newport nursing facility with Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed and other dignitaries.
Khatima earned the honor for her essay, “If I Were Governor for a Day,” which won a contest for girls in fifth through eighth grades throughout the state. Hers was one of more than 580 essays submitted.
“I think it’s important that girls know they can be whatever they want to be if they work hard,” Raimondo said. “Khatima had the opportunity to spend the day learning from strong female leaders across state and local government, the legislature and the judiciary. As Governor for a Day, Khatima has shown young girls that the opportunities available to them in Rhode Island are endless.”
When Khatima was asked about the best part of her time as governor, she said: “The tree planting at my school. I can see it every day that I’m there. I also enjoyed getting to meet female state leaders.”
She concluded by saying, “This has been really fun for me, since I’m only 11 years old. Being 11, you can’t be a real governor like Gov. Raimondo, so it’s really nice that I get to have this chance.”
Khatima is the daughter of Eric and Hema Bulmer of Newport.
Thompson Middle School fifth-grader Khatima Bulmer, who won the ‘Governor for a Day’ contest, participates in a tree-planting ceremony at the school Wednesday to celebrate Earth Day. Also pictured, from left, are Gov. Gina Raimondo, Newport Department of Public Services employees Paul Rodrigues and Michael Everin, Newport Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano (partially obscured) and Thompson Vice Principle Bob Campion.
Michael Derr | Staff photos
Pictured at top, Thompson Middle School fifth-grader Khatima Bulmer and Gov. Gina Raimondo arrive at Thompson Wednesday for a tree-planting ceremony. Pictured above, Khatima holds a certificate of recognition that was presented to her by Newport Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano, right, during the tree-planting ceremony. Gov. Raimondo, center, and Newport School Superintendent Colleen Burns Jermain, left, look on.