CANTON — State Representative Kristy Pagan (D-Canton) is showing her support for a new program based in Canton that will help at-risk girls reach their full potential.

The program is called Lead Like a Girl and is under development by Canton Leisure Services, which also operates B.L.O.C.K. (Building Leaders Out of Canton’s Kids).

“When I was in high school, most of the student leaders in my class were boys. Thanks to the encouragement of a teacher, I joined student government, but still often felt like an outsider in the boys’ club,” Pagan told the Canton Observer. “I got involved in Lead Like a Girl to empower more girls to take on leadership roles in their school and in the Canton community.”

The program seeks to help the young women with leadership skills, self-esteem, career development and connections to local resources. Events will take places at various facilities in the community.

The program will select a pilot group of 15 to 18 girls through an application process this summer. Applications will require permission from parents and school administrators. Those who complete the nine-month program will graduate in front of friends and family.