Girls State is a nonpartisan program that aims to teach young women responsible citizenship and love for God and Country. Since the inception of the Girls State program in 1937, nearly one million young people have had the opportunity to learn firsthand how their state and local government works. High school girls in their junior year spend an intensive week of study, working together as self-governing citizens at Auxiliary-sponsored Girls State programs in ever state. Participants are educated about the intrinsic duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of citizenship in a democracy. They learn how to participate in the functioning of their state’s government in preparation for their future roles as responsible adult citizens. Auxiliary Girls State programs are administered in individual states or Departments. Using criteria established by the Department, local Units select and sponsor program candidates recommended by local high schools. Girls State “citizens” are typically extraordinarily talented and accomplished young women who excel academically and are involved in a variety of extracurricular and community activities.
The 1937 National Convention organized Girls State as a national Americanism activity. A national committee to direct the program was created by the 1946 National Convention. The first Girls Nation session with representatives from each Girls State was held in Washington D.C. in 1947.
Girls State is a practical application of Americanism and good citizenship. The entire program is a non-partisan, non-political attempt to teach and inculcate in the youth of America a love of God and country.
The purpose of Girls State is to provide citizenship training for girls of high school age in every Department of the American Legion Auxiliary; to afford them an opportunity to live together as self-governing citizens; to inform them about the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of American citizenship, in order that they may understand and participate in the functioning of their government; and to help them grasp the meaning of some of the responsibilities which they must assume when they become adults.
Girls State is administered by the individual states. The Units within the states must brief the local high school officials on the qualifications and the selection process that has been established by the Departments of the Auxiliary. The Units must follow the materials distributed by the Departments pertaining to the selection and participation in Girls State.
Sponsorship: The Girls State program should be statewide in its application and interest. An Auxiliary Unit interested in promoting the program but unable to finance a girl should immediately contact another Unit or civic or cultural group in the community and extend the privilege of contributing to them. Experience has proven that this privilege is one that will be eagerly assumed as soon as the program is properly explained. However, the American Legion Auxiliary remains the sponsor, and shall be known as such. After the Girls State session, each girl should be expected to appear before her local Unit, the contributing organizations, and her local high school to make a report on her impression of Girls State.
Early enrollment is essential. This is due to the advance preparation that must be made on behalf of each girl, which includes personal correspondence with the girl. It is absolutely necessary that all applications and attendance fees be sent to the Department Secretary, or other designated individual of the American Legion Auxiliary, not later than the date set by the Director.
Girls Nation has become a permanent allied activity of the Girls State program. A national committee on Girls State supervises the activity of Girls Nation and sends material to the Departments on selection and representation at Girls Nation. A compulsory registration fee from each Department is required for participation in Girls Nation.
American Legion Auxiliary Department of Arizona sponsors two girls to Girls Nation each year.
William Bloy’s American Legion Auxiliary Unit # 2 sponsors several girls to Girls State.
Please contact us for information on this wonderful program.
We will answer any and all inquiries for information in the Tempe, AZ area.