JUNE 18, 2014

Arizona Girls State Marks 67th Session

UofA prepares for potential freshmen
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It was a girl’s week with nearly 300 high school girls from across Arizona converging on the University of Arizona campus for the 67th 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 meet the necessary qualifications. The session ran from June 1 –7. Attending from Cactus Shadows High School in Scottsdale was Jenalee Beazley.

Arizona American Legion Auxiliary 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 roles as citizens.

According to Penny Maklary, Girls State Director, “This is a week that shapes a lifetime.” She explained girls were housed in the recently renovated Likins Hall, and utilized other instructional classrooms throughout the university. “Similar to past years,” she went on to say, “we have senior staff that work as city and county advisors, while junior counselors return from the previous year’s Girls State to 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 elected a mayor and counsel, wrote their own ordinances and resolutions and passed a budget and a plan 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”. Midweek, they elected the prominent positions of Governor and Secretary of State. The girls elected to these two positions will return and preside over the 68th session of Arizona Girls State.

Culminating the week was the election of two delegates as senators to attend the prestigious Girls Nation held in July 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 and visit the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, the White House and other memorials in the nation’s capital. It is 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.