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Arizona Girls State Marks 68th Session

American LegionSedona AZ (June 6, 2015) – Nearly 300 Arizona high school girls will converge on the University of Arizona campus for the 68th session of the American Legion Auxiliary premier program, Girls State. This unique opportunity is open to girls completing their junior year of high school who meet the necessary qualifications. The session will run from June 7-13, 2015.

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

According to Penny Maklary, Girls State Director, “This is a week that shapes a lifetime.” She explained that girls will be housed in the recently renovated Likins Hall, and will utilize instructional classrooms throughout the UofA campus.

“Similar to past years,” Maklary went on to say, “we have senior staff that work as city and county advisers, while junior counselors return from the previous year’s Girls State to assist Senior Staff in the education and fun process.”

american legion logoThe Arizona Girls State experience is organized as twelve cities and four 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, the Federalists and Nationalists. Precinct committee members watch over all elections and assist political parties. Each city elects a mayor and a council, write their own city ordinances and resolutions, pass a budget, and develop a plan for planning and zoning. Cities are assigned to a County, and the educational process continues with campaigning and elections to County and State positions.

During the span of Girls State week, the girls will conduct regular city and party meetings, write and debate bills, receive instruction from actual elected state and county officials, and will learn by doing. Midweek, they will elect the prominent positions of Governor and Secretary of State, and the two girls elected will return to the 69th session and preside over that Arizona Girls State. Culminating the week will be the election of two delegates as Senators to attend the prestigious Girls Nation, held the following month in Washington, D.C.

Sedona Red Rock High School in Sedona AZ

Attending from Sedona AZ Red Rock High School are Sydney Hambrick and Lauren Remy.

Girls Nation is an all-expense-paid week with other elected Girls State Senators from across the nation. The Girls Nation will debate federal issues, present bills and, during the week in the District of Columbia, visit the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, the White House, and other memorials. Both Girls State and Girls Nation are truly “once in a lifetime experiences”!

Girls State was organized as a national Americanism activity by the 1937 American Legion Auxiliary National Convention. A national committee to direct the program was created by the 1946 American Legion Auxiliary National Convention. Girls State is a practical application of Americanism and good citizenship. The entire program is a non-partisan and non-political.

The Girls State program is sponsored by the Units of the American Legion Auxiliary. Each Unit sponsors girls from assigned high schools in their area. Girls State is solely sponsored by The American Legion Auxiliary; however, we do have outside contributors which donate each year to the program.

For more information about 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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