SALISBURY, MD---From June 19-24, more than 130 high school seniors throughout the state converge on Salisbury University for a hands-on look at what makes government run during the 65th session of Maryland Girls State.
Sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, Girls State is a non-partisan event held at SU since 2009. Participants are assigned to represent fictitious cities and counties, learning how local and state governments work, from elections to the passage of legislation.
Students meet with local and state legislators, including Maryland Delegate and SU alumna Jeanne Haddaway and Wicomico County Councilwoman Sheree Sample-Hughes.
This year, the girls hold a mock trial, learning about the judicial process and jury duty responsibility, with instruction provided by the Honorable Ginina Stevenson, Esq.
Other guest speakers include Dr. Rosemary M. Thomas, SU vice president of advancement and executive director of the SU Foundation, Inc., and Scott Jensen, SU assistant to the President for government and community relations.
They are joined by American Legion Auxiliary Department President Patricia Lach, American Legion First Vice Commander Melvin Smullen and Sons of the American Legion Detachment Commander Thomas Deal.
SU’s Healthy U program also is part of this year’s event, hosting daily exercise programs for the seniors.
Two from Maryland Girls State will be selected to attend Girls Nation, which focuses on the federal government. Girls Nation “senators” meet for a week in Washington, D.C., where they will hold mock elections for political office, campaign for the passage of legislation, and meet with government officials, sometimes including the U.S. president.
This year’s participants follow in the footsteps of some very prominent women. Girls State alumni throughout the United States include former Texas governor Ann Richards, news commentator Jane Pauley and past chairwoman for the National Endowment for the Humanities Lynne Cheney.
For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.