The University of Southern Mississippi will continue for another week hosting rising high school seniors from across the state for a special week of programs focusing on the political process when the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State comes to campus June 4-11.
As American Legion Boys State winds down, the 64th edition of Girls State will commence, offering a similar slate of programming that teaches young women about the intricacies of state and local governance, including how judicial branches operate, the finer points of campaigning for elected office and how to craft and promote legislation, among other activities in the simulated state of “Magnolia.”
The delegates will elect city and county officials, as well as the counterpart of the state’s top elected leaders and two senators who will represent Mississippi at Girls Nation later this summer.
It’s very important that young women learn about government and the political process, because more women than ever are serving as public servants,” said Nancy Sanders, director of Girls State and secretary of the American Legion Auxiliary. “Girls State gives them a chance to get a taste of how our democracy works, and by doing that they can decide how they want to be a part of it, whether as an elected official or in learning more about the issues that concern our state and nation.”
Girls State delegates will also hear from public officials at all levels of government, including President Pro Temp of the State Senate Billy Hewes, a Southern Miss alum; State Attorney General Jim Hood; Steve Guyton, congressional aide to U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker; and State Court of Appeals Judge Virginia Carlton, among others.
A unique activity for this year’s Girls State program will be the presentation of a classic USO-style song and dance show performed by delegates for troops stationed at Camp Shelby at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 8 at Bennett Auditorium. On Thursday at 11 a.m., delegates will travel to Camp Shelby to hand out pocket flags for troops leaving for Afghanistan.
For more information about American Legions Auxiliary Girls State at Southern Miss, contact Angela Kilcrease at 601.270.3939; or David Tisdale at 601.266.4499. Online, visit http://missala.com/girlsstate.html