Land elected to Lt. Governor post at Girl's State
Lauren Branas, Hartselle Enquirer
Carson Land spent a week playing politics and gaining invaluable experience which helped her develop skills that will aid her through her college career and beyond.
Land, an upcoming Hartselle High School senior, earned the honor of being selected to participate in Girl's State. Girl's State is a national program and Alabama has participated since 1942. Only one girl per high school can go each year; so the competition is stiff. The American Legion Auxiliary sponsors the program and decides who receives the honor.
"We work very hard to make sure we get the top girl," Ruth Cain of the American Legion Auxiliary said.
Cain said the girls' resumes all had good grades, community service records and extracurricular activities. Cain marveled at the busy lifestyles the applicants have. The entire club decides on three girls, one from Hartselle High, one from Danville High and one from Falkville High each year. This year Katie Defoor of Falkville and Brandi Sanford from Danville were chosen.
"This is a tremendous honor for girls. They learn many interesting things and meet political figures," Cain said.
Once the selections were made, the girls got to go to Troy State University for a weeklong experience from June 6-11. The girls got a taste of college life by staying in the dorms, which Land said, were nice. A girl from each high school in the state could attend. This year there were about 350 participants.
When the girls arrive at Troy State they are assigned a mock city. The girls were further grouped into counties and then into a state. Each district goes through an election process in order to experience how the integral parts of government operate. This summer program promotes dutiful citizenship and patriotism.
Land said she participated in patriotic programs every morning and evening. The girls even had a field day. Then they started campaigning for office. There were two running parties complete with primaries. The girls were able to polish their public speaking skills in 15-minute press conferences where they were instructed to answer as many questions as possible.
"The experience made me more confident. It was a great opportunity to meet people," Land said.
Land's campaigning paid off. She was elected the honorary Lieutenant Governor for the state of Alabama. She had her certificate signed by Lucy Baxley, the real Lieutenant Governor.
Cain said the three girls and their families are invited to the first American Legion Auxiliary meeting in July. There they will talk about their experiences.
Land plans to major in theatre in college. Right now she is active in Hartselle High School's performers and is involved in all the community theatre.
To find out more about Girl's State visit www.legislature.state.al.us.