Guest blog by Macae Mickens, American Legion Auxiliary Missouri Girls State director
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
– Benjamin Franklin
The American Legion Auxiliary’s Girls State program is an immersive, week-long experience held each summer in all 50 states. The ALA Girls State program is a fun, learn-by-doing simulation of local, county, and state government. Together, all citizens of each state’s ALA Girls State program work together to form their own cities, write and pass laws, collect taxes, solve city and state issues, campaign for office, and vote. Each program also hosts guest speakers from various levels of government and civic involvement during their session.
Although many of the citizens of American Legion Auxiliary Girls State programs are already interested in politics and government, it is not required in order to attend. We have found that our program is applicable for young women from any background and with any future career plans.
The ALA Girls State program is nationally recognized by colleges, universities, and military academies as the program serves as a strong indicator of future college success and campus leadership. Completion in the program also makes you eligible for many national level scholarships by the American Legion Auxiliary and The American Legion.
While we recognize that summer is short, we encourage you to look into applying for your state’s ALA Girls State program today.
Visit www.ALAforVeterans.org/ALA-Girls-State to view your state’s session dates and application requirements. While costs are associated with attending each state’s program, sponsorship opportunities are available through your local American Legion Auxiliary unit.
Two participants are chosen from each state after participating in their respective ALA Girls State programs to attend ALA Girls Nation. The girls are known as “senators.”
During ALA Girls Nation in Washington, D.C., the girls participate in a mock legislature. They are responsible for submitting bills and resolutions, participating in senate sessions, and electing officials such as president and vice president.
American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young women. This weeklong event gives participants a firsthand experience with practical insight into how the federal government works. More than 7,000 young women have participated in ALA Girls Nation since it was founded in 1947.
In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.