The first American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation was held August 9-August 14, 1947, with 82 girls and 41 states participating. It has been held each year subsequently. In order to attend the event, participating Girls State sessions select two participants to represent the state at Girls Nation. It, much like Girls State, is a "hands on" election simulation, only focusing on federal government rather than state government. These representatives, the Girls Nation "senators," are divided into two political parties. The parties do not reflect the two major political parties in today's system, but allow citizens to gain a special knowledge of how the system works. Girls Nation is funded by the national organization of the Auxiliary, with some support from each participating state. Little or no expense is required of the representative or her family.
The Auxiliary has been recognized many times by Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) for outstanding Girls State and Girls Nation programs. It has also been recognized through the media in "Career World" magazine, WAM!, Children's Television Network (Encore Media Corporation), and many newspapers. The delegates of Girls Nation, alongside the American Legion's Boys Nation delegates, are additionally given the opportunity to meet Barack Obama as well as other House Representatives and Senators during their weeklong program.
At this point in time, 98 girls attend Girls Nation. Hawaii does not partake in the Girls State or Girls Nation program.
The official goals of the program are to
- to develop leadership and pride in American citizens;
- to educate participants about our system of government;
- to instill in participants a greater understanding of American traditions;
- to stimulate a desire to maintain our government processes.
The American Legion Auxiliary believes that training our youth about the basic ideals and principles of our system of government will help to ensure the survival of our republic. Through this highly effective citizenship training program, Auxiliary members and other expert volunteers teach the youth of our nation to understand, comprehend, and appreciate their roles as United States citizens.
- President: Attiya Latif (MD)
- Vice-President: Yujin Seo (NV)
- President Pro-Tempore: Elena Sokoloski (OH)
- Federalist Party Chairman: Samantha Srok (WI)
- Nationalist Party Chairman: Dixe Schillaci (IN)
- Majority Leader: Shing-Shing Cao (DE)
- Majority Whip: Sumaia Masoom (WI)
- Minority Leader: Julia Espero (NV)
- Minority Whip: Aridnee Thomas (NM)
- President: Alauna Sessoms-Hall (CA)
- Vice President: Anjali Fernandes (MO)
- President Pro Tempore: Riya Patel (VT)
- Nationalist Party Chairman: Willow Huber (IA)
- Federalist Party Chairman: Abigail Lore (NH)
- President: Jennifer Berrian (FL)
- Vice President: Rebecca Pelletier (ME)
- President Pro Tempore: Tracy Nelson (FL)
- Nationalist Chairman: Mackenzie Austin (CA)
- Federalist Chairman: Kailey Pickitt (SC)
- American Legion Auxiliary. "What We Do". American Legion Auxiliary website. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
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