What single American Legion Auxiliary program can be inspirational, educational, life-changing, and fun? It is American Legion Auxiliary Girls State, a marquee Auxiliary program. At American Legion Auxiliary Girls State, high school female students who have completed their junior year are competitively selected to participate in a seven-day mock government program where they learn about civics and American government in a fast-paced, interactive program of campaigning, debating, voting, and electing mock local and state leaders.
OREGON GIRLS STATE
Auxiliary units in 50 states proudly host American Legion Auxiliary Girls State, an amazing week of learning focused on responsible citizenship and love for God and country. Students are assigned to mock cities where, divided into the “Federalist Party” and “Nationalist Party,” they are immersed into learning about the political process from dedicated volunteers, making sure the program’s nonpartisan governmental, patriotic and civic objectives are carried out with intense learning along with some fun. The program directors also stay vigilant about raising the girls’ awareness of the importance of service, particularly to our veterans, the military and their families.
Two girls are selected from each American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program to attend American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation, where they become “senators” who meet for week long immersive learning in Washington, D.C. After running for office, electing a mock U.S. Girls Nation President, and campaigning for the passage of mock legislation, the participants meet with real-life national government leaders.
The highlight of the week includes a visit to the White House where for most years, the American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation senators have visited with the President of the United States.
Young women who have successfully completed their junior year of high school and who have at least one more semester remaining are considered. A student is only allowed to attend one (state’s) ALA Girls State program – attending a second session is prohibited. Only those who illustrate leadership, character, scholarship, loyalty, and service in their schools and community should be considered. Merit and ability are the basis for evaluation during the actual citizens selection process.
The selection process differs from state to state. The ideal method is for schools to recommend lists of eligible candidates to local America Legion Auxiliary units who then should conduct their own interviews or assessment and make the final recommendation.