VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO AM) - The W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership at the University of South Dakota will host the 2014 American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program, June 2-7.
This is the 13th consecutive year that USD and the W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership will co-host Girls State as 385 high school junior girls from across the state, chosen by the South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary, learn about civic participation. Now in its 68th year, Girls State teaches participants every aspect of American government from the state and local level to the federal and executive branches. Students are divided into cities and counties where they have an opportunity to run for a mythical political office ranging from governor to local law enforcement positions. They will also have an opportunity to learn firsthand from state and local public servants, including U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.; Congresswoman Kristi Noem, R-S.D.; Gov. Daugaard’s Chief of Staff Dustin Johnson; U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, State Senator Angie Buhl and State Representative Mike Stevens. Gov. Dennis Daugaard will also host a state of South Dakota Q&A session during Girls State at 9 a.m. on Friday, June 6 at Aalfs Auditorium inside Slagle Hall.
Inauguration of the new Girls State governor will take place at 8 p.m. on June 6 at Aalfs Auditorium with Molly Hermann, 2012 Girls State Governor, providing the keynote address. The Girls State Chorus, under the direction of Gretchen Burbach of Vermillion, will present a patriotic concert prior to the inauguration ceremony. Additional Girls State activities for the week include general assemblies, law and court procedure classes, talent auditions, invited speakers, campus tours, and various presentations and meetings. A college/career fair is also scheduled for Wednesday, June 4 in the Muenster University Center concourse. All the colleges and universities that offer scholarships to Girls State participants have been invited as well as military recruiters.
The Girls State community project for 2014 is supporting the Volunteers of America Dakotas Berakhah House, a Veterans Housing Program located in Sioux Falls, S.D. The Berakhah House was formed to address the needs of homeless and struggling veterans. Throughout the week, Girls State will collect monetary donations, toiletries, towels, single bed sheets, alarm clocks, shower curtains, gift cards, and household kitchen items. Donations are also accepted by contacting Cheryl Hovorka, Girls State Director, at (605) 677-5702 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.