It was a girl’s week with nearly 180 high school girls from across Arizona converging on the University of Arizona campus for the 75th session of The American Legion Auxiliary’s Arizona Girls State program.
According to a press release, this “unique” opportunity is open to girls completing their junior year of high school that meet the necessary qualifications.
The session ran from June 5 through 11.
Attending from Chaparral High School was Wrenna Pai, and from Northwest Christian High School were Jessica Jacoby and Kara Seidemann, the release stated.
Additionally, from Paradise Valley High School were Evelyn Dellaripa and Julie Garabet and from Notre Dame Prep were Sophia Rowan, Sara Evans and Anika Krutzik.
American Legion Auxiliary Arizona Girls State is a weeklong program designed to educate young women in the functions of their government and kindle the desire to actively participate in and responsibly fulfill their role as citizens.
In the release, Penny Maklary, Girls State director, stated that “this is a week that shapes a lifetime.”
She explained that girls were housed in an original home to Girls State for many years. State-of-the-art, eco-friendly instructional classrooms throughout the university were assigned to the program this year.
“Similar to past years,” Maklary went on to state. “We have senior staff that work as city and county advisors, while junior counselors return from the previous year’s Girls State session, to assist Senior Staff in the education (and fun) process.”
American Legion Auxiliary Arizona Girls State is comprised of nine cities and three counties. There are 20 to 22 girls in each city and about 60 girls in each county. The girls are divided into two pseudo-political parties called federalists and nationalists, the release stated.
As explained in the release, precinct committeemen watch over all elections and assist political parties. Each city elected a mayor and council; wrote their own ordinances and resolutions, a budget and a strategy for planning and zoning.
Cities were assigned to a county and the educational process continued with campaigning and election to county and state positions.
During the span of the week, they conducted regular city and party meetings, wrote and debated bills, received instruction from actual elected state/county officials and “learned by doing,” the release stated. Midweek, they elected the prominent positions of governor and secretary of state.
The girls elected to these two positions will return to preside over the 76th session of American Legion Auxiliary Arizona Girls State.
Culminating the week was the election of two delegates as senators to attend the prestigious American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation held the following month in Washington, D.C.
Girls Nation is an all-expense-paid week with other girls elected State Senators from across the nation.
They will debate federal issues they present as bills, and visit the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, the White House and other memorials in the nation’s capital. Another opportunity that is truly a “once in a lifetime experience.”
For more information on Girls State or the American Legion Auxiliary contact the Auxiliary Unit located in your city or the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Arizona at 602- 241-1080.
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