HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Soon to be high school seniors from across the state are learning all they can about how their state works in all departments of government at the Magnolia Girls State at the University of Southern Mississippi.
"We’re the new generation. Coming up, we need people who are going to make a difference in this world, because this is going to be ours once the next generation is gone,” said Kerstin Tuck from Gautier.
Day one consisted of the girls breaking out into caucus sessions to learn about parliamentary procedures as well as electing party officials.
"I’m running for Lt. Gov. I’m really excited to get to know some of the other candidates for that position and am really excited to get to know them more and for all that comes in store for that office,” said Rylee Sharpton from Hurley.
Attorney General Jim Hood served as Monday’s guest speaker. He talked with the young ladies about the many struggles and challenges the teens face day to day.
"They’re dealing with a lot of dangers and pressures, and I just want to assure them that we know that and here are some tools that maybe help them work through the issues.” said Hood.
Many of the teens say they are looking forward to a week of self-learning, gaining lifelong friends and furthering their political knowledge.
"I have thought about going into politics and have been wanting to work for our state government and maybe if I do this, it will jump start my career of going into that,” said Anna Grace Carter from Pelahatchie.
"Girls don’t believe in their self anymore and you just need something to give them an outlet to go out and do stuff. This is a great opportunity to learn leadership and learn politics,” said Blair Wilson from Brandon.
"It has made me get out of my comfort zone learn more leadership skills. I have loved and enjoyed every single second. I’ve just absorbed all of it in and taken it all in,” said Ann Wallace Derossette from Vicksburg.
State Treasurer Lynn Fitch will speak to the girls on Tuesday.