Three more Colusa County girls are slated to go to the American Legion Auxiliary’s Girls State program this summer.
The Maxwell American Legion Auxiliary Unit 218 selected Lizbeth Aceves of Williams, Emma Dohetry of Arbuckle, and Jasmine Atencio of Maxwell, to attend the prestigious program June 25-30, at Claremont McKenna College in Los Angeles County.
“I want to go to Girls State because I want to develop more leadership skills and to get a greater understanding of American traditions,” said Aceves, 16. “I hope that I get to learn about our system of government.”
American Legion Auxiliary officials said special instruction in parliamentary procedure is a significant part of the program. The Girls State “citizens” will spend six days immersed in the workings of local and state government.
Once there, the approximately 500 girls selected to attend the program will be broken up into about 16 cities and four counties, and will run for local and state offices, establish platforms, write or vote on numerous “bills,” and establish a Supreme Court to hear cases.
All the delegates and alternates are high school juniors, and undergo a rigorous selection process.
“For the interview process we initially work with each of the three schools’ counselors,” said Bonji Immoos. “Based on certain criteria – character, citizenship, scholastic achievement – the counselors select the candidates and set up the interviews. Auxiliary members sit on the interview panels, asking each candidate at each school the same list of questions. Since we can only send one delegate from each school, choosing the delegates and alternates is difficult. The girls are all so accomplished, competent. and involved in their school and community.”
Aceves is president of the Class of 2019 and was vice-president last year. She is a tri-athlete and has a 4.2 grade point average, while employed at Granzella’s and helping out with Williams Youth Basketball.
Doherty is Pierce High School’s junior class president, plays volleyball, is active in FFA and just received her State FFA Degree, and is a member of the Junior Fair Board. For the past two years, she has been in charge of the Job Interview contest at the Arbuckle FFA Field Day. She is involved in Arbuckle Revitalization Committee and other activities.
“This year, I am proud to be the only 4-H All Star in Colusa County,” Doherty said.
Atencio is also active in school, community, and sports.
Alejandra Mendoza, of Maxwell, and Marlen Salazar Tirado, of Williams have been selected as Girls State alternates, should the delegates chosen from their high schools not be able to attend.
The Maxwell American Legion does not ask the delegates to pay any of the registration fees or transportation costs.
“Pierce Joint Unified School District has paid the registration fee for their school’s delegate for quite some time, and this year, Citizens for a Better Williams generously donated the registration fee for the Williams delegate,” Immoos said.
The Auxiliary uses the proceeds from their annual enchilada sale to pay the registration fee for the Maxwell delegate, and transportation costs for all the girls.
The American Legion Auxiliary’s Girls State program is celebrating its 75th year in 2018.
About 500 girls will attend the California Girls State program, and 16,000 or more girls will attend Girls State nationwide. Two outstanding citizens from each of the 50 Girls State programs will be chosen to represent their state as “senators” at American Legion Auxiliary’s Girls Nation, which is held in Washington, D.C. in July.■