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American Legion Auxiliary unit gears up for Girls State
American legion web

A 1981 Girls State program graduate and Girls Nation participant spoke to the Forsyth 2016 American Legion Auxiliary Girls State attendees May 15 as part of the program’s 2016 Girls State orientation meeting at Northside Hospital-Forsyth.

Shellie Jones, the Girls State graduate who is now a respiratory therapist at Northside Hospital-Forsyth, was the feature speaker at the meeting and said in her speech that the Girls Nation program was an outstanding program that has changed very little over the years and that is still providing leadership training to today’s young women.

“Girls State changed my life by encouraging me to become interested in other leadership programs and to apply for college scholarships,” Jones said.

She also gave credit in her speech to the program for several college scholarships she received. In addition to Jones, several local 2015 attendees were on hand at the orientation meeting to answer questions and give advice to this year’s local Girls State participants.

The American Legion Auxiliary’s Girls State program began in 1939 and is a nation-wide, week-long course of instruction in and application of fundamental principles of the American system procedures of city, state and national government. Candidates for the program must have completed their junior year of high school, “be of good character, possess strong leadership skills and have above average scholastic abilities.”

Due to donations from the Sawnee EMC Foundation and American Proteins, the local Auxiliary unit is able to send one student from each of the five Forsyth County public high schools and one homeschool or private school student to Girls State. Additionally, this year American Legion Post 247 in Dawsonville has offered to send one girl to the program since Dawson County is unable to form a full committee for the project.

The program has about 20,000 participants annually, with about 375 of those participants attending the Georgia program. The Georgia program will be held on June 12-17 at Georgia Southern University.

For more information, contact Susan Youdell at the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 307 at