June 27, 2011

For she's a girls' state girl, and a girl you ought to know!

Dear American Legion of my city,

My name is Sarah. I would like to share with you some of my experiences at Utah Girls’ State. While preparing to head down to SUU, I was not excited. I was bullied a lot in elementary school and junior high by girls, so I wasn’t looking forward to spending a week with 300 or more of them. I belonged to Walker City, named for the only female governor of Utah, Olene Walker. Upon arriving, I instantly had a change of heart and attitude. The girls in my city were kind, smart, and inviting. I felt included and wanted. We were immediately comfortable with each other. Naturally, we had the best city in the whole state!

I spent the week learning about political processes on a city, county, and state level. I became my party’s city chairwoman, meaning that I led party caucuses with parliamentarian order to help nominate and elect candidates. Every day I heard from keynote speakers like the Governor, Attorney General, and Veterans. By the end of the week, I felt like I had learned so many things not only about our great country, but about myself too.

The theme of the American Legion Auxiliary is “God and Country.” Girls’ State was just as spiritual for me as it was political. Throughout the week I felt promptings to listen to what was being taught or to try something new. That “something new” was running for Girls’ Nation Senator. Like every state, ours had the privilege to send two senators to DC to participate in a congress session there. I began a campaign that was emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausting. I wrote a bill, took a test, and made posters. As part of the debate team at my high school, giving a speech is neither hard nor scary. I consider it an amazing opportunity to have been able to speak to every citizen of Girls’ State.

I felt like God wanted me to run for Girls’ Nation Senator. He didn’t tell me that I would win, He only told me that I should run. I prayed harder than I ever have before, and therefore felt closer to Him than I ever have before. Out of the 300 or so girls attending Girls’ State, I made it into the top four for Girls’ Nation. I ended up not winning. Do I regret a second of my campaign? No. I anticipated a week of home-sickness and torture. I was given the most amazing week of my life. I returned home to Lehi a brand new person. I now understand the duty I have to be involved in my community. To me that means performing meaningful service, educating myself as a voter, and being knowledgeable about and grateful for the rights and privileges I enjoy as a citizen of the United States of America.

I full heartedly thank you for the donation you have made to my tuition for Girls’ State. I feel that I took advantage of the opportunities provided to me while there. Now, I would like to thank you for the time and service you have given to me and every American. This past year, I took a class in school about WWI and WWII. I think war is very unreal to a lot of people. It’s easy to brush it off as only ketchup and toy guns. After in depth learning about these wars, I have earned a greater appreciation for all of the service men and women in the military. I can’t imagine fighting in a war or sending a family member to do the same. I thank you for serving in the military and sacrificing your time to protect my freedoms.

God bless you, your families, and America.

Thank you again,


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