- On Sunday, Gov. Ronnie Musgrove encouraged delegates to
the 56th Annual Magnolia Girls State at The University of
Southern Mississippi to recognize and take advantage of the
opportunities around them, especially those closest to home.
been said that youth is a time of missed opportunities,"
Musgrove told the hundreds of young women gathered in Southern
Miss's Bennett Auditorium. "I want to encourage you not
to miss opportunities."
pointed specifically to opportunities inside Mississippi,
and encouraged the Girls State delegates to think about those
first when planning their futures.
the delegates could one day find themselves faced with opportunities
"literally from every other state in the nation,"
the governor asked that they not forget what their home state
has to offer.
the recently opened Nissan auto manufacturing plant in Canton
as an example, Musgove said that achievements in the area
of economic development are helping carve out a new image
for Mississippi, one the youth of today will be able to take
advantage of tomorrow.
is being recognized as a leader," he said.
said he wanted the delegates to know that they would have
to stay focused on their goals as they moved into the future,
adding, "When people say that can't happen in Mississippi,
I say it will happen in Mississippi. It's happening for our
young people right now."
the delegates, "You are outstanding young people, the
future of our state."
a brief question-and-answer period following his remarks,
Musgrove fielded queries from the delegates on topics ranging
from teacher qualifications and sex education in the classroom
to avenues of financial assistance for those seeking a college
were in keeping with the governor's assertion that, "So
many times I find the best questions, the most thoughtful
questions, and the most probing questions are asked by these
ladies at Girls State."
Speights, a 16-year-old senior from Hattiesburg High School,
felt positive about Musgrove's speech to the Girls State delegates.
liked the way he was real direct, and made a lot of sense,
and made me see that he is concerned," Speights said.
a 17-year-old senior from North Pike High School, said, "He
did answer some of the questions that a lot of us have on
State is sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary. It is
designed to educate high school senior girls on the process
of government through a series of campaigns and mock elections
for various offices in the fictitious state of Magnolia.
State's director, Kathy Dungan, said that the goal of program
was to make the participants more civically aware.
hope to teach them a little bit about government, how the
process works, so they will make good citizens," Dungan
State will run through Friday, June 13. A number of speakers
are slated to address the delegates during the session, including
Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, who will speak , at 3 p.m. today.