Each year the Bellevue American Legion Auxiliary #273 sponsors one or two girls from local high schools to attend Girls State at Drake University in Des Moines. All fees are paid and a stipend is given for transportation expenses. This year will be the 75th anniversary and held June 20-25, 2021. Candidates must have completed the junior year in high school, show strong leadership abilities and be above average in scholastic achievement. She must be an American citizen and agree to salute the American flag.
Over 200 Iowa young women will attend Girls State. The goal is to teach young women about government and politics through a hands-on learning system. They will learn about City, county, and State government processes by participating in legislative sessions, campaigning, attending party rallies, debating and voting to set up their own City, county, and State governments. Mayors, city councils, county officials, State Representatives, Senators and even a Governor are elected.
The Iowa Girls State program is sponsored by the Department of Iowa American Legion Auxiliary and is staffed by Auxiliary members and former Iowa Girls State citizens who volunteer their time. Former Girls State attendees you might recognize are:
• Nicole Clapp-(Iowa)-National American Legion President
• Abigail Spencer-(Florida)-actress
• Leeza Gibbons-(South Carolina)-talk show host and author
• Roslyn Baker-(Texas)-politician
• Nancy Redd-(Virgina)-Miss America & author
Across the nation, over 20,000 young women attend Girls State each summer.
There is one space available for 2021 from Bellevue. Junior girls who are interested can contact Vivian Pitlo, 563-872-5764. This is a fantastic opportunity you can apply for.
Some recent attendees from Bellevue were:
2016 Ellen Sieverding
2017 Emma Kelchen
2018 Justina Denlinger
2019 Kaylynn Sieverding
2020 Gracie Dunn and Jaydn Hurley
Bellevue American Legion Auxiliary Unit 273