September 16, 2014  

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American Legion Auxiliary Girls State Convention Ongoing at Southern Miss

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Girls State delegates hold a party caucus as part of the annual convention on The University of Southern Mississippi campus. (Photo by Kelly Dunn)

Rising high school seniors from across Mississippi have converged on The University of Southern Mississippi campus as part of the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State convention.

The 64th edition of Girls State runs from June 4-11 on the heels of Boys State which just concluded at Southern Miss. Girls State is designed to teach young women about the intracacies of state and local governance, including how judicial branches operate; the finer points of campaigning for elected office and how to craft and promote legislation in the simulated state of "Magnolia."

The delegates will elect city and county officials, as well as the counterpart of the state's top elected leaders and two senators who will represent Mississippi at Girls Nation later this summer.

"It's very important that young women learn about government and the political process, because more women than ever are serving as public servants," said Nancy Sanders, director of Girls State and secretary of the American Legion Auxiliary. "Girls State gives them a chance to get a taste of how our democracy works, and by doing that they can decide how they want to be a part of it, whether as an elected official or in learning more about the issues that concern our state and nation."

Girls State delegates will hear from public officials at all levels of government, including President Pro Tem of the State Senate Billy Hewes, a Southern Miss alum; State Attorney General Jim Hood; Steve Guyton, congressional aide to U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and State Court of Appeal Judge Virginia Carlton.

For more information about Girls State contact Angela Kilcrease at 601.270.3930 or David Tisdale at 601.266.4499. Visit online at http://missala.com/girlsstate.html