Emily Benzing selected for Iowa Girls State

Emily Benzing ...
Emily Benzing ...

Emily Benzing, who just completed her junior year at Kee High School in Lansing, has been selected a 2016 Iowa Girls State participant by the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, Unit 722 of Harpers Ferry. She is the daughter of Brian and Debra Benzing of Lansing.

Girls State is being held this year from June 12-17 at Drake University in Des Moines. Iowa Girls State is one of the premier programs sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary. It was all started by a dream of four women over 70 years ago in hopes of teaching young women about the political process.

Girls State is a “learning by doing” program, which takes the girls through the entire political process. It covers city government, which is non-partisan in Iowa. Each citizen is assigned to a city for a week. Early in the week, the girls elect their mayors and city council members, perform city business, pass city ordinances and work on a city project for judging later. They are divided into political parties and campaign to get their party’s candidates elected and party loyalty. Inauguration is held which includes the closing of the final joint session of the Senate, and the installation of the Governor and her officials. Many scholarships are awarded, and Girls Nation Senators are announced.

During the week, the American Legion Auxiliary President speaks at various Auxiliary programs and there are several speakers on a variety of subjects. The Girls State Governor opens and closes each day’s session and there are several activities throughout the week such as daily flag raising and lowering, a candle-lighting ceremony, etc.

Girls State also has a store which stocks items such as apparel, notebooks, etc.

Girls State citizens must be between their junior and senior year of high school and are selected by their local American Legion Auxiliary Unit. The week of Girls State is packed with activities from dawn to dusk.