JUNE 2, 2010

Girls go wild over Girls State

Arizona Girls State Merges on UofA

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TUSCON – It’s girl’s week out, when nearly 300 high school girls from across Arizona converge on the University of Arizona campus for the 63rd session of The American Legion Auxiliary premier program, Arizona Girls State.  This “unique” opportunity is open to girls completing their junior year of high school that meets the necessary qualifications.  It begins June 6 and runs through June 12.

Arizona American Legion Auxiliary Girls State is a week-long program designed to educate young women in the functions of their government and kindle the desire to actively participate in and responsibly fulfill their roles as citizens.

According to Penny Maklary, Girls State Director, “this is a week that shapes a lifetime.”  She explained that girls will be housed in Coronado Hall, and utilize other instructional classrooms throughout the university. “Like in past years,” she went on to say,  we have senior staff that work as city and county advisors, while junior counselors return from last year’s Girls State and assist Senior Staff in the education (and fun) process.”  

Arizona Girls State is comprised of 12 cities and 4 counties. There are 24 to 28 girls in each city and about 75 girls in each county.  The girls are divided into two pseudo political parties called federalists and nationalists. Precinct committeemen watch over all elections and assist political parties.  Each city will elect a mayor and counsel.  They will write their own ordinances and resolutions, pass a budget and have a working plan for planning and zoning.  Cities are assigned to a County and the educational process continues with campaigning and election to County and State positions.  During the span of the week, they will conduct regular city and party meetings, write and debate bills, receive instruction from actual elected state/county officials and “learn by doing”.

Midweek, they will elect the prominent positions of Governor and Secretary of State.  The girls elected to these two positions will return to the 64th session and preside over that Arizona Girls State.  

Culminating the week is the election of two delegates as senators to attend the prestigious Girls Nation held the following month in Washington, DC.  Girls Nation is an all-expense-paid week with other Girls Staters from across the nation who will debate federal issues they present as bills, visit the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, the White House and other memorials in the nation’s capital.  An 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.