girls state

Ecriselia Flores (left) gets presented a check by Nicky Beyer (left middle), and Erin Faulhaber (right middle) presents a check to Claire Frank (right).

A handful of Sidney High School seniors will get the chance to experience and learn about government processes first-hand by attending Girls State.

According to its website, this will be the 73rd year of the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State, and it will be held at Carroll College in Helena from Sunday, June 13 to Saturday, June 19.

Two of the students going, seniors Claire Frank and Ecriselia Flores, were recently presented with checks to attend, which were from sponsors.

Nicki Beyer, from the local Philanthropic Educational Organization Chapter W, sponsored Flores, and Erin Faulhaber and Michelle Frank, from Chapter BA, sponsored Claire, Michelle’s daughter.

Another Sidney senior, Serenity Kuntz, will also be attending Girls State, and possibly one or a couple other students may be going.

Flores and Claire both said that they were really excited to get to go this year because they were supposed to attend last year, but the event was cancelled due to the pandemic.

“I’m just grateful that we can do anything even though COVID is still going on,” Claire said.

At Girls State, students will get to become part of fictional cities where they can go through the democratic process of running for office, holding elections and making laws, according to the event’s website.

Additional activities will include field trips to the Capitol, debates and a mock trial, to name a few.

The chance to attend Girls State was perfect, as both Flores and Claire said they have a lot of interest in government.

Claire said she isn’t going to pursue a career in politics necessarily, but she has always enjoyed learning about the government.

Faulhaber said that the local P.E.O. chapters sponsor women for different philanthropic education opportunities, and the chapters shared the opportunity with any junior and senior girls interested in going.

Girls State, and Boys State as well, are designed to help educate students about government processes and principles so they can be informed citizens.

“Guided by the principle, ‘For God and Country,’ the program epitomizes the Auxiliary’s mission to honor those who have brought us our freedom by continuing to train young women to be leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism. Attendees develop leadership skills, an appreciation for active citizenship and a lasting foundation for personal and professional growth,” the American Legion website said.

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