The mock town of Dream Harbor has a new class of leaders.
They campaigned for their offices and cast their own ballots, but to swear in their new officials, the girls of Dream Harbor needed help from some of Sarasota's most distinguished grown-ups to make the 2017 Girls Inc. election official.
Sarasota Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie, Police Chief Bernadette DiPino, Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner and 12th Circuit Court Judge Rochelle Curley visited the organization's mock society Dream Harbor on Nov. 28 to swear in its newly-elected officials.
"Most people think the most important part of elections is who wins," Turner said. "But that's not the entire truth of the process. The people who vote really represent the process. By electing a leader you are also electing a listener."
Dream Harbor's newest listeners include Kylie, who will take over for former mayor Shayla, and Sloan, the new chief of police.
The new officials will work with other portions of Girls Inc.'s mock society, such as the bank and the police force, to make and enforce Girls Inc. rules. Every part of Dream Harbor mimics real life, teaching girls leadership and civic action. And at the helm of this system is the Dream Harbor government.
"As an elected official you are no more important than anyone else in Dream Harbor," Mayor Eddie said. "Everyone matters. Everyone deserves respect."
In her first speach as mayor, Kylie thanked all those who voted for her and said she looked forward to making Dream Harbor a better place.
"I look forward to helping girls accept themselves and others," she said.
But before she took the stage, outgoing mayor Shayla gave her farewell address.
"I would like to say I'm very proud of all the elected officials for all they have put into their jobs already," she said. "I learned so many things that I would not have learned any other way ... Shayla out."