Originally Published: June 13, 2010 9:20 p.m.
Rebecca Gaskill, Katherine DiLucido, Autumn Davidson and Dallas Elliot are three of nearly 300 young women who attended the 63rd American Legion Auxiliary Girls State in Tucson this past week. They were selected from juniors in their high school to attend the program.
This premier leadership conference is designed to provide practical insight into the working of government, to instill a sense of pride and loyalty in America and to create friendships and memories. DiLucido and Davidson attend Prescott High School, Elliot hails from Bradshaw High School, and Gaskill attends Mayer High School.
A key component of the Girls State program involves mock senate sessions complete with caucusing and debating of bills that range in topic from personal to political interests. Campaigns are held to elect city, county party and state officials. The elected Governor and Secretary of State return to preside over the following year's Arizona Girls State.
In addition to legislative forums, the girls hear distinguished guest speakers.
"The Girls State experience is one of both privilege and responsibility. While it offers each girl amazing opportunities for personal growth, there is certainly the expectation that she will be energized to share the learned knowledge with others in her local community," said Penny Maklary, the Arizona American Legion Auxiliary Girls State Director. Maklary, along with other American Legion Auxiliary volunteer leaders and educators, encourage the young delegates to continue their community service and practice good citizenship.
For more information on Girls State or the American Legion Auxiliary, contact the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Arizona at 602-241-1080. As the largest women's patriotic service organization in the world, it is fitting that The American Legion Auxiliary is the proud sponsor volunteer of both Girls State and Girls Nation. Founded in 1919, the Auxiliary boasts a membership of nearly 900,000 members and has a commanding presence in more than 9,500 communities nationwide.