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Anchoring Together We Make a Difference!
The American Legion Auxiliary Girls State Program has provided high school juniors all across the United States the opportunity to participate
in a hands-on citizenship training program for over 60 years.

These young ladies learn government by actually creating a mythical state through the election of public officials on local, county, and state
levels and then by carrying out the duties of these respective offices.

A continuation of Girls State is
Girls Nation where two Senators from each state are selected to participate in a simulated National government
program in Washington, D. C. The following are the areas of emphasis this year:

PATRIOTISM as Girls State citizens gain a better understanding of our American traditions and a greater appreciation of our country and our
flag as well as learn our government processes through simulated real life involvement in all levels of government.

PARTICIPATION in the citizen’s communities when she returns home and begins a life long commitment to be active in all levels of our
government. To produce Girls State Citizens with this commitment of participation, units must make wise selections of delegates, provide them
with informative orientations before the session begins, and then give them recognition when they return home.

PROGRESS into the future by adding new and innovative enhancement to our program.

What is Girls State?

The American Legion Auxiliary believes that training our youth about the basic ideals and principles of our system of government will help to ensure the survival of
our republic. Through a unique citizenship training program, Auxiliary members teach the youth of our nation to understand, comprehend, and appreciate their
roles as United States citizens. This program is called Girls State.

Girls State began as one and two day sessions in the late 1930's and since 1948 has been a regular part of the Auxiliary's Americanism curriculum. The program
has grown from a few hundred participants to nearly 25,000 Girls State delegates annually. The Auxiliary has been recognized many times by Freedoms
Foundation at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania and the National Association of Secondary School Principles (NASSP) for outstanding Girls State and Girls Nation

How are participants chosen?

American Legion Auxiliary Unit Girls State Chairmen evaluate potential leadership qualities of the delegates and alternates, assisted by high school principals and
guidance counselors. Girls are eligible to attend if they meet the following criteria:

have completed their Junior year in high school government and current events
have high moral character
possess strong leadership abilities
have an above average scholastic standing
have a desire to learn

These criteria may vary slightly from state to state.
The Department of Mississippi typically hosts 450 girls each year.

What are the goals of the program?

to develop leadership and pride in American citizens
to educate delegates about our system of government
to instill in delegates a greater understanding of American traditions
to stimulate a desire to maintain our government processes

What does a typical session include?

The citizens are divided into two mythical political "parties." The parties do not reflect the two major political parties in today's system, but allow citizens to gain a
special knowledge of how the system works. Elections are held to fill city and state positions. Activities include legislative sessions, campaigning, party rallies,
debating, and voting. The citizens also receive instruction in Parliamentary Procedure.

This "hands on" method is unique and extremely effective. Girls State affords participants an opportunity to live together as self-governing citizens by informing
them about the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of American citizenship and hopefully encourages their participation in the democratic process as they
progress into adulthood. Additional activities include: journalism, singing, talent shows, field trips, group devotions, and patriotic ceremonies.

How are these programs funded?

The program is funded by each state's American Legion Auxiliary, with some additional support coming from other civic and non-profit organizations. The Girls
Nation program is funded by the national organization of the Auxiliary, with some support from each participating state. Little or no expense is required of the
citizen or her family.

Are scholarships available?

Girls State citizens have the opportunity to apply for financial assistance through the Samsung - American Legion Scholarship. Qualified students who are
descendants of United States wartime veterans are evaluated on their academic records, community involvement, school activities and financial need.Various
other scholarships and awards are given through individual Girls State programs. Check with your local American Legion Auxiliary to see what scholarships are
available in your area.
American Legion Auxiliary  
Department of Mississippi  
100% Plus in
American Legion
Web Site

Pocket Flag Project
2005 Girls State
May 28 - June 3, 2005
The University of
Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, Miss.

For information,
contact the
American Legion
Auxiliary, Department
of Mississippi
(601) 353-3681
or e-mail