ALA Girls State

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    Are you up for the challenge?

    ALA Girls State LogoDeveloping leadership skills, confidence and action-based understanding of the government process gives young women a lasting foundation for success, both personally and professionally. The American Legion Auxiliary believes that educating youth about the basic ideals and principles of government will help ensure the survival of our democracy.

    ALA Girls State is a unique and exciting government-in-action learning program in which Auxiliary members guide young women to become knowledgeable stewards of freedom, democracy and patriotic citizens.

    Purpose Statement
    To provide an outstanding, unique, and coveted educational opportunity for the young women of our nation that instills the basic ideals and principles of American government through the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State and American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation citizenship training programs.


    American Legion Auxiliary Girls State has empowered hundreds of thousands of accomplished young women to aspire and achieve stellar accomplishments grounded in their leadership skills enhanced at ALA Girls State.


    Past participants of ALA Girls State include members of presidential cabinets, mayors, governors, state representatives, company CEOs, national journalists and military officers.


    The program is a weeklong immersive learning experience held on a college campus where girls live in “cities” within the dormitory. The learning, experience, memories, and friendships last a lifetime.

    What is ALA Girls State?

    The American Legion Auxiliary’s marquee Girls State program, first presented in 1937, is one of the most respected and coveted experiential learning programs presented in the United States.

    The program epitomizes the ALA’s mission to honor those who have brought us our freedom through our enduring commitment to develop young women as future leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism. The young women become knowledgeable of the democratic process and how our republic form of government works at the state and national levels.

    Each summer, approximately 20,000 young women participate in weeklong ALA Girls State programs across the nation. Every American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program operates with the same patriotic values through a nonpartisan curriculum where students assume the roles of government leaders, campaigning as “Federalists” and “Nationalists” to become mayors and county and state officials of their ALA Girls State.

    The program is a weeklong immersive learning experience held on a college campus where girls live in “cities” within the dormitory. The learning, experience, memories, and friendships last a lifetime.


    Program Objectives

    ALA Girls State Members
    The American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program:
    • Develops leadership and pride in American citizens.
    • Educates citizens about our system of government.
    • Instills a greater understanding of American traditions.  
    • Stimulates a desire to maintain our democratic government processes within our republic.

    Selection Process

    Girls State delegates are a diverse group of young women who share a common desire to learn and lead. From small towns to big cities, the delegates’ backgrounds set the stage for a weeklong, spirited, experiential learning where ALA Girls State “citizens” hold “Girls State” elections.

    Delegates to an ALA Girls State program are selected by American Legion Auxiliary units, which work with local high school educators to select young women demonstrating leadership qualities.

    The number of Girls State citizens varies greatly by state and is determined by each state’s American Legion Auxiliary resources.

    Selection Criteria

    High school female students eligible to participate must:
    • have completed their junior year in high school
    • be keenly interested in government and current events
    • have high moral character
    • show strong leadership abilities
    • be above average in scholastic achievement

    ALA Girls State programs are funded by the American Legion Auxiliary and The American Legion, with additional support from various civic and nonprofit organizations. Scholarships ensure that participating young women incur only nominal expense. High school female students interested in scholarships are encouraged to contact their local Auxiliary units regarding availability and qualifications. 

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"I couldn't believe I was chosen for a national award. The scholarship has helped me a lot with my college expenses..." - Dereck Neben, Children of Warriors Scholarship Recipient

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