Girls Ready To Run For Office - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Girls Ready To Run For Office

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NATCHITOCHES, La. -- About 450 girls from across Louisiana are running for political office this week in Natchitoches to create their own state - a "Girls State."

It's a program to teach high school students about our government by allowing them to run their own. News Channel Five's Brooke Buford has the story.

High school junior, Mollye Shacklette of Shreveport, is one of the next leaders of her own state called "Girls State."

"We are the 51st state of the United States of America," said Shacklette. "We're hoping to learn about government, not by being taught it, but by creating it. We are the government, we run the government, we become the government of 'Girls State.'"

The week long program is put on by the American Legion Auxiliary at NSU for high school juniors and seniors.

"This program has been around for over 90 years,' said Kris Nelson, National President and CEO of the American Legion Auxiliary. "It teaches responsibility and it teaches them that our freedoms are not free. It teaches the girls to become active in the legislative process and to use their freedom of the right to vote."

The program takes the students through the campaign office - from campaigning, to primaries and the election - helping them understand what makes our government run.

"In the next couple of years we will be becoming young adults, we will be helping to shape our country and we are basically the future of the United States of America and we need to know how to benefit our country," said Shacklette.

For many, the "Girls State" program has become so beloved that they've returned as counselors.

"It really is a program that opens girls up to leadership, opens girls up to getting involved and opens girls up to others girls in the State of Louisiana who are doing exactly what they're doing," said April Anderson, a counselor.

A special bond through a very special program - for girls like Mollye, the future leaders of the country.

In addition to the "Girls State", there is also a "Boys State" program too. That program is also going on at NSU right now.


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