American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Evergreen Girls State is a program of The American Legion Auxiliary. Local applicants (Yakima Valley) must be endorsed by Grandview's Fred E. Hayes Unit 57. Girls from Grandview, Sunnyside, Mabton, Granger and Bickleton have been endorsed and selected for Girls State.
Attendees of Girls State become more effective leaders in their schools and communities. Attendance at Girls State is a positive thing to list on college applications and scholarships as well as resumes for jobs. The United States Military Academy uses Girls State as one of their first selection criteria. many colleges are now doing the same thing. They are looking for things that make you different from all the other young women applying for that position.
Interested students, who are currently a Junior in High School or Home School and who will be a Senior next year, may apply online at EvergreenGirlsState.com or by contacting Nancy Davidson at 509-882-1984 in Grandview.
ALA Evergreen Girls State Overview
The American Legion Auxiliary’s (ALA) 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 ALA’s mission to honor veterans through our enduring commitment to develop young women as future leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism. The young women become knowledgeable in the democratic process and how our republic form of government works at the local, state and national levels.
Each summer, approximately 20,000 young women participate in weeklong ALA Girls State programs across the nation. Every ALA Girls State program operates with the same patriotic values through a nonpartisan curriculum where students assume the roles of government leaders.
Program Purpose & Objectives
ALA Evergreen Girls State allows girls a unique opportunity to live together as self-governing citizens and informs them about the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of American citizenship. Through hands-on participation, citizens will better understand the function of their government and how to be informed and patriotic citizens.
The ALA Evergreen Girls State program:
- Develops leadership and pride in American citizenship;
- Educates citizens about our system of government;
- Instills a greater understanding of American tradition; and
- Stimulates a desire to maintain our democratic government processes within our republic.
There are nine cities, three counties, and two political parties that make up ALA Evergreen Girls State. Each girl is assigned to a city and to a political party prior to arrival. ALA Evergreen Girls State teaches the two-party political system using mock parties: the Nationalist and Federalist party. Citizens organize their political parties and develop their own party platforms to decide what their parties stand for. Political parties are organized at the city precinct level and continue through county and state conventions.
Every citizen has a part in the operation of her city. The citizens of each city elect their officials and set up their government. Each city is also tasked with solving their assigned city problem. The mayor or city manager of each city will present the solution to the city problem to the Governor's cabinet at the end of the week.
Two girls will be elected United States Senators to represent Evergreen Girls State at Girls Nation in Washington D.C. in July. These U.S. Senators and the Girls State Governor will have additional responsibilities following the end of the session.
The ALA Evergreen Girls State Legislature is organized upon the principles of Washington State Legislature. Bills are introduced and, by legislative process, defeated or enacted into law. Procedures are conducted according to Reed's parliamentary rules and laws of the State of Washington. Throughout the week, real-life city, county and state officials come to Girls State to share their knowledge about government.
The flag is raised each morning, presented at all assemblies, and lowered each evening. The girls will be taught how to show proper respect for the American Flag. Grace will be given before each meal and invocation before each assembly.
Upon arrival, citizens receive Guidebooks listing time and location of each activity and other information pertinent to the program. Each girl will be shown to her assigned city's dormitory to meet her Counselor and Junior Counselor. Girls State girls will participate in:
- City, county, and state mock sessions;
- Mock trials;
- Legislative proceedings;
- Americanism activities (Flag raising/lowering, POW/MIA ceremony, Blue Star Banners, etc.);
- City competitions (fast song, city problems); and
- Guest speakers.
Complete instructions will be mailed to the girls prior to leaving home for ALA Evergreen Girls State and will be made available on the website. These materials will help them prepare for a successful week. The information will include program rules, study aids, and a list of what to bring.