June 20, 2019 Online edition found at www.vagirlsstate.org
The days are long but the nights are longer at ALA VA Girls State!
Wednesday is always jam packed at ALA VA Girls State. The day started with General Assembly members speaking to cities in session. Wednesday’s evening started with Nya Miles sharing her 2019 winning American Legion Oratorical speech. She was followed by the Girls Nation Candidate Forum. Our evening ended with platform speeches by Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General candidates.
Today at Girls State was an exciting one for sure!!! We showed off all of our beautiful citizens of Barrett city in our stunning group picture. The legislature met again. This time we got to debate our bills and passed them along to the other side where they will be reviewed tomorrow! Cities were also kept very busy today. They worked together and introduced new ideas and rules that will keep our city in order. Just be sure that you don’t get in line late or forget to switch off your lights or you will be paying some hefty taxes. However, the main focus of the day was still getting a chance to see the candidates for the statewide positions from both parties! Both sides have great candidates and we’re excited to do our civic duty and vote tomorrow!! We also are wishing our fantastic fellow Barrett good luck in the Girls Nation election; she did amazing today!! We are thrilled to see the results of all the elections tomorrow and continue our learning about Virginia’s government!
Gabby Moreno and Elizabeth Wahlin
At 7:10 a.m., the alarm sounded in Clark city, and Sheriff Emily went around to each room making sure that every citizen was up and ready for a new day. Citizens of Clark City, though perhaps loathing to leave the warmth of their beds, were looking forward to another full day of speeches, campaigning, activities, and city meetings. Among the many tasks completed, Clark City was able to successfully create a budget, set end-of-week resolutions, establish obligations, and cheer on the candidates for Girls Nation and for the positions of Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor, and Governor. Upon hearing the many platforms presented, it became evident that Virginia’s future leaders are not only strong and confident individuals but also a diverse group deeply rooted in community involvement. In addition to these qualities, their great sense of spirit was portrayed as the cities of Clark and Lewis started a cheering round encompassing all 600 citizens of Girls State during the retreat at the end of the day. It is safe to say that, after hours of hard work and dedication, Clark City will return to the dorms feeling accomplished and excited for tomorrow’s visit to the polls.
Katherine Walker and Diana Revilla
After Wednesday’s events, it might be hard for the CRUSH girls to speak on Thursday morning. The Hannah Montana and iCarly theme songs at the convention really tested the girls’ memories and vocal chords. It turns out that “Best of Both Worlds” had a second verse no one knew about and that we never gave Miley Cyrus enough credit for those high notes. The 7:30 am city picture proved that putting a bright purple T-shirt over a pantsuit is a sure-fire way to make sure no one is looking at your undereye circles. However, everyone forgot how tired they were when Zoree Jones gave her Lieutenant Governor speech. We should all take a picture with her now because Zoree 2040 is happening! Another CRUSH star, Alice Xu, appeared to emcee the event making her city and the Nationalist party proud. Although the votes aren’t counted we are confident that all CRUSH girls made their mark on ALA VA Girls State.
Kelsey Briggs and Karina Guevara
The Draper girls continue to build their city up to the best it can possibly be, starting with the implementation of ordinances throughout their city thanks to the planning and decision making had by the Mayor and City Council. These ordinances, such as no littering at lunch, staying in two lines, among other inventive ideas allowed for the citizens of Draper to only improve themselves as well.
Soon after, we had the opportunity to listen and even ask questions to Delegate Glenn Davis, which gave our city an expanded view on politics as a whole. Draper City made sure to ask some insightful questions of their own as well. They were even able to speak with him over lunch! When we asked how he felt about Girl’s State, Delegate Glenn Davis said, “It’s amazing how all these girls bond together in such a short amount of time. It really is a wonderful experience.” With those words in mind, the girls of Draper are going to continue to improve on their city to make it the best it can possibly be!
Last night, our Big Three (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General) candidates gave speeches answered a variety of questions. One such question asked the girls what they have learned at Girls State. One girl said “to be genuine”, to be the person you want to be, not the person you think others want you to be. Another said that she has learned how easily a group of girls can form the bonds of friendship.
I too have learned.
Over the past few days, I have learned to be fierce. To do the things that scare you, that leave you shaking and thinking “did I really just do that?” I have learned how to be confident in myself, in the pieces of the beautifully unique puzzle that makes up me. I have learned how to be physically and figuratively loud. How to chant and scream with more enthusiasm than I knew I had and to voice my unpopular opinions. I have learned how to stand up for what I believe in even when I stand alone.
At Girls State, I have learned how to be me.
Sydney Dudley and Ashlyn Herring
High tensions and excitement filled many Girls State citizens as the elections for desired party positions were in full swing. Lewis City was no exemption from participating in such events. In the Federalist party, Alina Ampeh ran for Attorney General, and for the Nationalists, Aldona “Ally” Mott competed for Lieutenant Governor. Fellow citizens showed their support by voting and campaigning during caucuses. Despite not receiving the candidacy, Ampeh and Mott represented the city with confidence and integrity.
Juliana Calvert and Anna Groff
Today, the Dawgs had their busiest day yet. The city council and mayor were busy at breakfast passing city ordinances and setting down the laws of the “Dawg House.” After breakfast, the Dawgs met with Delegates Rasoul and Ware of the Virginia House of Delegates. They provided insightful and eloquent overviews of their responsibilities and citizens even interacted with the delegates one-on-one. Candice also shared sound advice with the Dawgs, energizing them for the rest of the week. The Dawgs were hard at work all day digging up ideas for new cheers and hall décor. It was a fun-filled afternoon of music, laughter, and creativity. The spirit and arts committees truly put forward a lot of effort this week. To conclude an already exciting day, was an even more exciting assembly. Virginia Howard performed wonderfully as a competitor among the Girls Nation candidates, representing the Dawg House fantastically. To conclude the day, the speeches given by the top three gave the Dawgs a lot to consider before the polls tomorrow.
Idayziah Jones and Stephanie Welbaum
Today in the mellow city of Monroe, we got the astounding opportunity to do the thoughts of the day following our daily flag raising. Our two very own Livvie and Jenny shared two quotes for everyone to reflect on for encouragement. Exhausted from late night decorations, we marched and chanted to our first city meeting of the day. In this meeting, we nominated our determined and strong willed Taylor. To liven the city, some of our girls got real southern and did a hoedown for the talent show. Moving on, after the daily activities, we listened to a couple speeches and then the moment we were waiting for finally came. Our Nationalist Attorney General and Federalist Governor nominees, Zoe Riddick and Mya Manson, respectively, gave what we hope will be their winning speeches. Today, we hope each city will take into consideration what our candidates have said and vote for who you think is right. Vote Zoe and Mya!
Liz Tomlin and Emmaline Eskridge
Once again our day was packed with opportunities to educate the citizens of Girls State on politics and allow voices to be heard by addressing many important topics. Such topics being affordable medication, mental health, and gun violence; as presented by our state’s elected officials in the final campaigning process for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General. However, before the final campaigning on Wednesday evening, Pocahontas City, along with Clark, had a chance to meet with General Assembly Delegate David Bulova. Delegate Bulova was receptive to many of the ideas broached by citizens, explaining how conversations in years past with citizens of Girl’s State have provided him with many suggestions to take into account when passing bills. While these have been memorable moments, Nya Miles, from Girl’s Nation, provided one of the most unifying and inspiring speeches today. Leaving us with the quote, “Understanding is the foundation of proper change and action.” A quote that seems to embody most of what we are doing here at Girl’s State, which, along with a better understanding of the inner workings of politics, involves the listening and teamwork skills that go into great compromise to create real change.
Angela Lee and Ashley Manheim
The perfect, patriotic city of Preston successfully completed their third day at ALA VA Girls State. It began with yet another delicious breakfast where members of the Preston clan piled their plates high with French toast to give them an extra morning boost. Following breakfast, Preston said goodbye to their Senators and Delegates as they departed to meet with the legislature as the citizens held a meeting in which Ankitha Shenoy was elected the city’s Girls Nation Senator nominee.
Later, after a quick Mama Mia and Justin Bieber break, Delegate Charles Poindexter entertained the ladies of Preston with an interesting speech and questionnaire regarding his past with government. After a delicious lunch with numerous cones or ice cream and sprinkles, the girls participated in a series of meetings and activity before dinner. The grand finale of the night was the amazing Nya Miles speech, followed by the equally inspiring Girls Nation Candidate Forum and platform speeches for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General. The Preston ladies peacefully fell asleep after a long, exciting day, brimming with anticipation for the remainder of their time at Longwood.
Kylie Heapes and Mia L.
Lana (Nationalist Governor Candidate) Q&A
Lana, from Tyler city, ran for Governor and had her speech last night. Here are some questions that we asked her this morning:
Q. Why governor?
A. I honestly at first thought that I didn’t want to run but I decided that I needed to push myself.
Q. What was the hardest part about campaigning?
A. I’m used to speaking in front of people because of Model UN. I think the hardest part was really just breakdown the barriers between cities to unite everyone.
Q. Are you interested in politics?
A. Not long, i’ve honestly never really been interested in politics but i’ve always love foreign affairs and world issues. so once you join politics with that it’s really cool.
Q. Do you want to go into politics when you’re older?
A. I don’t want to go into politics when I’m older, I find real life politics too petty. But at Girls State, it’s different. Despite our differences, we respect each other. I believe that people in real life politics could learn something from us.
Q. Favorite color?
A. Pink for sure.
Hermela Million and Bonita Boyer
Wednesday, June 19 was one of the busiest of them all. The City of Wilson accomplished many things during both city session and legislature meeting including the implementation of ordinances and Girls State Health reform. After these great accomplishments, the City of Wilson auditioned for the talent show. Let’s just say... “Girls just wanna have fun!” Olivia Loos says, “ It was great bonding time and I can’t wait for the amazing acts!” Later in the day, the City of Wilson came together to support their candidate, Bonita Boyer and her platform to raise awareness for veteran suicide. Afterwards, the City of Wilson engaged their ears in the platform speeches and forum for the “Big Three”. Kyoka Trepka says, “ They were all so passionate and have inspired me to get into politics myself.” Today is definitely one for the books! GO WILSON!