Whitney Walker, Jordan Sugg, Lexis Madewell, & Emily Grant
The American Legion Auxiliary’s marquee Girls State program, first presented in 1937, is one of the most respected and coveted experiential learning programs presented in the United States. The program epitomizes the American Legion Auxiliary’s mission to honor those who have brought us our freedom through our enduring commitment and to develop young women as future leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism. The young women become knowledgeable of the democratic process and how our republic form of government works at the state and national levels. Each summer, approximately 20,000 young women throughout the nation participate in week long ALA Girls State programs. Every American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program operates with the same patriotic values through a nonpartisan curriculum where students assume the roles of government leaders, campaigning as “Federalists” and “Nationalists” to become mayors and county and state officials of their own ALA Girls State. Arkansas is among the largest with over 800 young women participating each year. The program is a week long immersive learning experience held on a college campus where girls live in “cities” within the dormitory. The learning, experience, memories, and friendships last a lifetime.