Juniors Morgan Betin-Coleman, Mckenzie Dunleavy, and Molly Keady have been selected to participate in the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State this coming June. Girls State is a week long camp held at Bethel University where girls across the state of Minnesota come together to learn more about politics and their state’s government. “I think it’s not only an opportunity to learn about government but to branch out and meet new people,” Dunleavy said.
The Girls State Program was started in 1937 with the goal to teach young students how their State and local governments operate. At the camp, the girls run for executive, legislative, and judicial positions and work together as self-governing citizens. Only 2-3 girls are selected from each county. To be selected, students must complete an application and be interviewed before a selection is made.
The girls were told about the camp through their AP U.S. History class. This camp provides teen girls with an opportunity to get a feel for what it is like to work in government and, hopefully, instill a passion through which they can hopefully build a career off of for the future. “I really like how Girls State offers a way for teen girls to learn more about their state government and government in general. I also want to be a lawyer and have an interest in government, so I am looking forward to gaining more knowledge that will help me in my future career,” Betin-Coleman said.
Even if the attendees don’t see a future for themselves in a government job, teaching high school students about their government at a young age provides important skills. “The government constantly makes decisions and enacts laws that affect its constituents. It is important to be able to know about the government simply because it allows you to be a better citizen,” Betin-Coleman said.