The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Unit 10 proudly sponsored fourteen rising high school seniors from Brentsville, Charles Colgan, Manassas Park, Osbourn, Osbourn Park, Patriot, Seton, and Stonewall High Schools to attend the 2017 Virginia Girls State at Longwood University from June 18-24, 2017.
Candidates were chosen based on their leadership abilities, interest in government, service to others, and academics. This year’s 2017 Girls State was Virginia’s 71th session and 43rd year being held at Longwood University.
These students, now known as “delegates”, had an active role in creating a city and state government and were grouped into fourteen cities, named after prominent Virginians. Each city was responsible for making its own laws, drawing up a budget, creating a city charter, electing officials, and carrying out its governance. The 14 cities grouped together and formed a State government. Lt. Governor Northam and Delegate Rich Anderson, in addition to other State representa- tives, spoke to the delegates on issues of State importance.
Notable achievements that our Manassas delegates accomplished included: A delegate from Charles Colgan ran for Lt. Governor; a Manassas Park delegate was Chaplain for the Inaugural Ceremony; an Osbourn delegate was elected to the State Senate; two delegates from Patriot and Osbourn Park were “model citizens” in two of the 14 cities; and a talent show participant was from Patriot. This is quite amazing since our delegates are in competition with 632 other delegates from all of Virginia.
Delegates are also given the option of being considered for “Girls Nation”, a very prestigious program held in Washington, DC from July 22-27th. There is a total of 50 delegates selected nationwide to participate in this event. We are extremely proud that our delegate from Stonewall Jackson was one of the two delegates from VA Girls State chosen to attend this event! This is quite an honor and she presented an extraordinary speech on preventing suicide, anxiety, and depression. In addition, we had another delegate from Patriot as one of the 14 nominees to Girls Nation, and she also gave an excel- lent speech.
Girls Nation’s activities include creating a mock legislature, special field trips to include visits to the White House, Arlington National Cemetery, monument tours, and a day on Capitol Hill meeting with state senators and representative.
Thank you to Carey Smith for her assistance in selecting the delegates and presenting an orientation session. It was greatly appreciated. Many thanks to Unit 10 for sponsoring the Manassas area students.
If you are interested in being a Counselor for 2018 VA Girls State, or know someone who is interested in the program, please let me know or visit vagirlsstate.org for additional information. If you are a teacher, I especially encourage you to participate in this extraordinary event. We forward information to guidance counselors in late January.
This was my second year as a Counselor and it is an amazing experience. It is so rewarding. We need a cadre of volunteers to carry on this premier program in the upcoming years! Thank you for your support.
Respectfully submitted, Carol Campbell, 2017 Girls State Coordinator