October 20, 2018  

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Southern Miss Hosting 70th American Legion Auxiliary Girls State

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The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) in Mississippi will host the 70th Girls State June 3-8 on the Southern Miss Hattiesburg campus.

The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) in Mississippi will mark its 70th year of presenting Girls State, a popular leadership program for young women entering their senior year in high school, when it holds the event June 3-8 on The University of Southern Mississippi's (USM) Hattiesburg campus. 

The weeklong program provides delegates active learning experiences focused on the mechanics of federal, state and local government through simulated political campaigns, legislative and judicial processes in the fictitious state of “Magnolia.” State and local government officials visit during the week to discuss public service in their roles, and the importance of citizen participation in a representative democracy.

Thousands of girls from across Mississippi have participated over the years, and still carry memories of that one week's experiences for a lifetime, said Angela Kilcrease, director of the event. This year, Girls State will include approximately 240 delegates.

“ALA Magnolia Girls State is where our country's future leaders realize their true potential,” Kilcrease said. “We give these young ladies an intense week of leadership, patriotism and community enlightenment. 

“We're also celebrating the fact that we've been associated with The University of Southern Mississippi as our host site for 31 straight years. We appreciate the University's continuing support for our program.”

All Girls State events will be held at the Thad Cochran Center, with the exception of the graduation ceremony, which will be held at Bennett Auditorium. The following are highlights of the week’s schedule of events:

*Move-in day, Sunday, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., Century Park North residence halls.

*Opening Ceremony – Sunday, 4 p.m., Thad Cochran Center; USM Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Dee Dee Anderson will welcome delegates to the Hattiesburg campus.

*State Treasurer Lynn Fitch to address delegates, Monday, 1 p.m.

*Political rally, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

*Attorney General Jim Hood to address delegates, Tuesday, 3 p.m.

*Swearing in ceremony for elected “Magnolia” state officers, Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.

*Graduation - Friday (Bennett Auditorium), 8:30 a.m.

For more information about American Legion Auxiliary Girls State, contact Angela Kilcrease at angelakilcrease@bellsouth.net.