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May 7, 2013 > Local student delegates headed to Girls State

Local student delegates headed to Girls State

Submitted By Ruth Wenzel

Every spring, the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State Program provides approximately 25,000 young women with a hands-on educational opportunity designed to instruct tomorrow's leaders in the privileges and duties of responsible citizenship.

Delegates receive special instruction in parliamentary procedure and organize themselves into two mock political parties. The young women campaign, hold rallies, debate and ultimately vote to elect city, county and state officials. Once elected to office delegates are sworn in and perform their prescribed duties. Citizens not elected to office are given appointments and visit the offices of those elected to share their viewpoint as citizens.

Victoria Agius (John F. Kennedy High School), Aishwarya Aravind (Irvington High School), Praveena Fernes (Mission San Jose High School), Emily Hoeven (Washington High School), and Priya Natarajan (Fremont Christian High School), all of Fremont, have been selected to attend American Legion Auxiliary Department of California Girls State. These young women were selected by their high schools and Auxiliary Unit 837 based on educational excellence, demonstrated leadership, community involvement, and sportsmanship. Representing her state as a legislator, these Delegates will study local, county and state government processes in this nonpartisan political learning experience.

"For seven years I have had the privilege of interviewing local high school junior candidates for Girls State. Every high school has selected amazing representatives from their school for the Unit to interview. The selection process is very difficult and we wish we could send every qualified candidate. With over 2000 high schools in California, and only 500 positions at Girls State, we are limited to one Delegate per school," said Girls State Unit Chair Ruth Wenzel. Wenzel, along with other Auxiliary volunteer leaders, will attend the conference and encourage the delegates to continue their community service in the future, perhaps by becoming members of the Auxiliary or as active Girls State Alumnae.

Two outstanding citizens, known as "senators," are selected at each of the 49 Girls State sessions held across the country to represent their state at American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation held in Washington, D.C. in July.

Founded in 1919, the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) is the world's largest women's patriotic service organization. The ALA's mission to serve veterans, active military and their families and our communities is carried out through its hundreds of outreach programs delivered by its members, volunteers and State and National Headquarters. See for information on becoming a member!

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