Girls State returning to TROY in June

Posted: Wednesday, 04 June 2008

TROY – Nearly 350 Alabama high school junior girls will call Troy University home June 8 - 13, as Girls State convenes for its ninth year on the campus.

A mission of the American Legion Auxiliary, the program provides the opportunity for students to participate in a hands-on citizenship training program that spans more than 50 years in Alabama and 60 years nationally.

“Troy University and Girls state share the goal of developing the next generation of leaders for our state, nation and world,” Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., chancellor, said. “Troy University believes in the ideals that Girls State represents, and we look forward to hosting the program again this year.”

During their week in Troy, the delegates will organize cities, vote on officials, develop and pass legislation and hear from the state’s real-life elected officials, said Lee Sellers, Girls State director in Alabama.

“I really see Girls State as the catalyst for positive change in Alabama,” she said. “It’s been my privilege to direct the program for the past six years and am looking forward to the excitement and energy the girls will bring to Troy University.”

Speakers during the week-long event include:

  • State Treasurer Kay Ivey
  • TROY Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr.
  • Phil Rawls, political and government reporter for the Associated Press
  • Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford
  • Dr. Cathy Randall, chairman of Tuscaloosa-based Randall Publishing Company
  • Attorney General Troy King
  • Former State Rep. Dick Brewbaker
  • Tommie Miller, Montgomery County Board of Education
  • Michael Bridell, assistant to Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright
  • Tim Lennox, Alabama Public Television
  • Carrie Kurlander, Corporate Media Relations
  • Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom Jr.
  • Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, Alabama Supreme Court
  • Alabama State Auditor Sam Shaw
  • Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman
  • State Senator Harri Anne Smith
  • Montgomery County Deputy District Attorney Azzie Taylor
  • Michael Bridell, assistant to Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright
  • Tim Lennox, Alabama Public Television
  • Carrie Kurlander, assistant to the president and CEO, Alabama Power Co.
  • Judge Lynn Bright, Montgomery District Court (retired)
  • Melinda Rainey Thompson, author of Southern Women Aging Gracefully (SWAG)
  • On June 13, the delegates will travel to the State Capitol, meeting with Gov. Bob Riley and conducting the assembly’s fifth legislative session in the House and Senate chambers. Girls State elected officials will also meet with their state office counterparts as well.

Sellers said the delegates represent the most outstanding junior girl in each participating high school. Each local American Legion Auxiliary post develops its own specific selection criteria for its area, she said.

“They use a variety of qualities, but all look for leadership potential, service and scholarship,” Sellers said.