SPRINGFIELD—State Representative Amy Grant (R-Wheaton) welcomed Wheaton residents Renee Pollino and Shameke Osbourne to Springfield on Tuesday for a women’s brunch that honored the contributions of emerging female leaders from throughout the state.
Pollino and Shameke operate My Half of the Sky, a Wheaton coffee shop that sends a portion of the shop’s proceeds to organizations that combat homelessness, human trafficking and extreme poverty, and groups that support environmental issues and provide assistance for teen mothers.
“These two women are making a real difference in their community by helping raise funds for Illinoisans in crisis and to support the environment,” said Grant. “It is a pleasure to recognize their contributions and provide them with a forum for sharing their ideas, challenges and successes.”
The two Wheaton business women were part of a group of about 40 emerging female leaders who are each taking bold steps to make Illinois a better place to live and work. In addition to the recognition brunch, the group participated in a discussion about what issues are important for Illinois women and how the General Assembly can create policy that reflects their priorities.
“We need to ensure that women’s voices are being heard during policy discussions in Springfield,” Grant said. “Today was a great opportunity to learn about their priorities, concerns and hopes.”
After the brunch and conversation, the group was able to watch a portion of Tuesday’s legislative session from the House Gallery, where they were introduced and further honored by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. The group finished the day with a tour of the State Capitol.
“It was humbling to hear stories from so many women who are truly living lives of purpose and impact,” Grant concluded. “I have tremendous respect for the hard work and dedication these women display on a daily basis.”