Enterprise Girls Return From Girl’s State Program With Scholarships
The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Girls’ State program is the country’s premiere summer youth program designed to develop leadership and promote civic responsibility in young women.
ALA Utah Girls’ State began in 1946. The programs mission is to honor those who have brought us our freedom through our enduring commitment to develop young women as future leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism.
Enterprise was lucky to send Jessica Farnsworth, Maddie Laub, Lacey Hansen, Emily Hiatt, and Chelsea Nelson. This event took place at Weber State University in Northern Utah from June 1-6. We talked to a couple girls from Enterprise about their experience and what they learned. Lacey Hansen said “going to Utah Girls State was the best experience I’ve ever had. I have to admit on Monday, the first day, I was wondering what in the world I had gotten myself into. I was scared and overwhelmed and stressed about everything. By Saturday at graduation I didn’t want to go home!”
These girls had a chance to:
- Launch campaigns and run for office.
- Draft and debate legislation.
- Learn public speaking and debate skills.
- Actively participate in all phases of creating and running a working government.
- Make friends with students from other parts of the state.
- Earn three University credit hours in Political Science 2920 (transferrable to other state-funded institutions).
- Elect student senators to represent the state at Girls’ Nation in Washington, D.C.
Jessica Farnsworth shared with us what they learned about women’s roles in government, “We learned why women should run for city office and what certain city offices do. We also had certain cities we were placed in and each of us ran for city offices like mayor, councilwoman, etc.” These girls spent valuable time in lots of meetings and voting for student senators, and city government positions. “Our first meeting was at 8 AM and our last meeting was at 9 PM” said Jessica Farnsworth when asked how her second day was.
Lacey talked about how much they really learned about how government works, and how she gained a better appreciation for our country and the freedoms each of us have, “the freedoms we have to enjoy are only available through the sacrifices so many men and women make to keep us safe. I love America!”
This was such a great experience for these girls, not only did they learn more about their country but they learned more about who they personally are also. Each of them were surrounded by strangers and had to break out of their comfort zone and talk to new people. Lacey said “I have made so many new friends and I know our friendships will last a long time.”
These girls also witnessed a flag burning ceremony at Girls State. Whitney Gleave a graduate of Enterprise High shared what she remembered about that same ceremony years ago. “That was the most spiritual and amazing experience, and was by far my favorite event at girls state, I cried like a baby.” They also had the opportunity to hear from Governor Herbert and participate in graduation ceremony. They had a great time and and this meant a lot to each of them and they all left with a love for Girls’ State.
In 2014, Weber State University granted $1.3 million in tuition waiver scholarships to Girls State attendees. Each of the girls from Enterprise came away with a scholarship.
If you would like to know about Girls’ State and what they did, visit https://continue.weber.edu/girlsstate/about.aspx