ALA Girls State

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ALA Girls State

Female high school students who have completed their junior year are competitively selected and sponsored by American Legion Auxiliary units for this program, where they learn about the political process by electing officials for all levels of state government and actively running a mock government. The girls are assigned to mock cities and either the “Federalist Party” or “Nationalist Party.”

Assistance from dedicated ALA volunteers ensures the program’s nonpartisan governmental, patriotic, and civic objectives are carried out through interactive learning. Though the week is filled with many learning opportunities, there is always time for fun and the formation of long-term friendships.

The art of civil debate is one of the main skills learned at this premier program, hosted by the American Legion Auxiliary since 1937. Many ALA Girls State participants have gone on to a lifetime of service to our country in the military, civil service, or advocacy. 

Candidates should be keenly interested in government and current events, have high moral character, and show strong leadership abilities. Because the structure of state and local government varies, ALA Girls State programs may vary in content and method of procedure, but each adheres to the same basic core values.

ALA Girls State Dates & Locations

American Legion Auxiliary units in all 50 states proudly host ALA Girls State, an amazing week of learning focused on responsible citizenship, leadership, and love for God and country. Female high school juniors interested in applying to attend ALA Girls State are encouraged to contact their school counselor or their local American Legion Auxiliary units regarding the application process and deadline.


Thank you ALA Girls State!
"I wanted to personally thank the American Legion Auxiliary for sponsoring me and giving me the opportunity to attend ALA Girls State in the summer of 2014. ALA Girls State taught me many things and I learned how to be a better leader and responsible adult. I recently applied for and was awarded the NROTC scholarship to further my dream of becoming a Marine Corps officer, and I believed many of the attributes I learned at ALA Girls State helped make that happen. Thank you again for what you did for me and the opportunity you gave me."

- Breanne D. , Tennessee -

Selection Process

ALA Girls State delegates are a diverse group of young women with a shared desire to learn and lead. ALA Girls State “citizens” come together from small towns, big cities, and rural areas to hold ALA Girls State elections, and their varied backgrounds set the stage for a week of spirited, experiential learning.

American Legion Auxiliary units work with local high school educators to identify girls who have demonstrated leadership qualities. Eligible female students are then recommended and selected by sponsoring American Legion Auxiliary units. Female delegates to ALA Girls State programs must be a legal inhabitant of the United States, either a U.S. citizen or a have a valid U.S. government-issued identification, have completed their junior year in high school and have at least one semester remaining. Each ALA Girls State program and/or ALA unit determines the process they will use to select the delegates for their state, and those decisions are final. The number of ALA Girls State citizens varies by state and is determined by each state’s American Legion Auxiliary resources.

Female high school juniors interested in applying to attend ALA Girls State are encouraged to contact their school counselor or their local American Legion Auxiliary units regarding the application process and deadline.

Selection Criteria

To be eligible, young women must: 

  • Be a legal inhabitant of the United States.  Participants must provide a copy of their U.S. birth certificate or their U.S. government-issued documentation verifying they are in the United States legally, e.g.  green card or visa.  
  • Have completed their junior year in high school and have at least one more semester remaining before graduation.  
  • Be keenly interested in government and current events.
  • Have high moral character. 
  • Show strong leadership abilities. 
  • Demonstrate above-average scholastic achievement. 

Cost

The costs of ALA Girls State programs are underwritten by each state-level American Legion Auxiliary. ALA Girls State delegates’ registration fees are paid for by the sponsoring local American Legion Auxiliary unit with additional support and funding sometimes coming from various civic and nonprofit organizations. Participating young women may incur nominal expenses for transportation, site-specific fees, or contribution to an optional service project.