Young women learn about politics through annual Girls State program

Young women learn about politics through annual Girls State program

Hundreds of girls gathered together for the 68th annual American Legion Auxiliary Magnolia Girls State program at Southern Miss Monday afternoon.

High school seniors from all across the state clapped their hands and shouted in anticipation for the start of what they call their week-long journey.

"I want to get into government one day, so this is definitely my cup of tea," Girls State attendee Kloe Lloyd said.

Most of the women in the crowded room share the same passion for politics and will learn about government, campaigning and the voting process.

"Our generation or this generation is going to be our future leaders, and they need the opportunity to learn and be in an atmosphere where they can excel and succeed," Girls State staff member Adrienne Gannon said.

At the beginning of Girls State, the ladies are put in their own cities. and they have the opportunity to run as public officials, which gives them hands-on experience.

"I think it's neat having a voice and just seeing how that can change the world," Lloyd said.

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker stopped by the opening event to give the girls a few words of wisdom.

He attended Mississippi Boys State when he was in high school and encouraged these ladies to follow their dreams if they are interested in politics.

"I hope they come away with a little increased sense of patriotism with the idea that this country is special," Wicker said.

One of the main purposes of Girls State is to get students inspired to make an impact on the future of government.

"Potentially they could be future presidents, governors and who knows," Gannon said. "We might be looking at the next governor of Mississippi."

Before the ladies called it a night, they raised their hands and read the Girls State pledge to show their loyalty to the program and each other for the next five days.

This program also awards several $500 scholarships for participants.