ALA Virginia Girls State

Contributing Writer: Melianty Yularnis | Images: CCN —

American Legion Auxiliary is an organization that’s purpose is to support The American Legion and in honoring the ones who have sacrificed their lives by making a difference and supporting the veterans, military, and families. They hope to continue supporting veterans, educating others, and spreading patriotism, peace, and security.

From June 19 to June 25, I had the opportunity to participate in the 2016 Virginia Girls State at Longwood University, Farmville, Virginia. Alongside me were 4 other girls from Osbourn High School, Nia Williams, Christina Skaggs, Camilla Rocha, and R’Asya Philbert. We did not interact with one another much, but were all still a part of this great opportunity.

Before and after I arrived, I was anxious and did not have any idea what to expect, just like the estimated 650 girls who were there with me. Girls came from all over Virginia. The only thought I had when arriving was, “Find my room, meet my new roommates”. Soon enough, I learned that I was a member of a city. Each floor of the dorms represented a city that was named after someone who had left an imprint on Virginia in history. I was a proud citizen of the Pocahontas City.

As soon as we got there, it became busy; attending assemblies, having speakers; such as our state Governor, Terry McAuliffe, Lieutenant Governor, Ralph S. Northam, and we can’t forget our fine ladies, Rosel Fredericksen and Pearl Klingebiel. City sessions occurred frequently and so did Party Conventions where each of us was given either the Nationalist or Federalist Party. At first, we had no idea what were doing but the goal was to actualize our own state government using other fellow young women with leadership skills. Choosing our next elected official positions where it came from state level to local level for our cities of; Mayors, House of delegates, and Governor. Cities also raised money in hopes to contributing the support of a veteran and his daughter, the Hope family, in building a home for them to live in with the helps of Habitat for Humanity.

“I was happy that I met so many wonderful girls who believed in and kept me entertained even when my phone shattered. Barrett city for life!” –Nia Williams

There were three things I had learned from the experience. One being how good the food was because we all loved to eat. Second being the chants that never stopped from each city, such as the Pocahontas City’s chant, “P-O-C-A-H-what-O-N-T-A-S-what-gimmie that, gimmie that-what-gimmie that, gimmie that-POCAHONTAS”. Also the ever lasting friendships and bonds I created with my roommates and city. I was also inspired by the experience to get involved with politics and see it in a new perspective. Even if it was simply voting because we as the people have the say in what goes on in our government.

“It was a great opportunity to have a hands on experience of what the government was like and what it involves. It was also great to meet with new friends and reunite with old friends from all over Virginia.” -Christina Skaggs

As the days close in, we end the last night with a spectacular talent show that showcased the talents of fine young ladies. Right after, we were all given a surprise of fireworks and the finale of our last dance party together. The last day came and it was saddening to leave everyone but we will all remember the experience we gained from Virginia Girls State because we are a part of the future of America.

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