Girls State

Are you up for the challenge?

ALA Girls State is a unique and exciting government-in-action learning program in which American Legion Auxiliary members guide young women to become knowledgeable stewards of freedom, democracy and patriotic citizens.


Developing leadership skills, confidence and action-based understanding of the government process gives young women a lasting foundation for success, both personally and professionally. The American Legion Auxiliary believes that educating youth about the basic ideals and principles of government will help ensure the survival of our democracy.

Purpose Statement
To provide an outstanding, unique, and coveted educational opportunity for the young women of our nation that instills the basic ideals and principles of American government through the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State and American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation citizenship training programs.

Learn more about ALA Girls Nation

What is ALA Girls State?

The American Legion Auxilliary’s marquee Girls State program, first presented in 1937, is one of the most respected and coveted experiential learning programs presented in the United States.

The program epitomizes the ALA’s mission to honor those who have brought us our freedom through our enduring commitment to develop young women as future leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism. The young women become knowledgeable of the democratic process and how our republic form of government works at the state and national levels.

Each summer, approximately 20,000 young women participate in week-long ALA Girls State programs across the nation. Every American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program operates with the same patriotic values through a nonpartisan curriculum where students assume the roles of government leaders, campaigning in mock parties (often called Federalists and Nationalists) to become mayors and county and state officials of their ALA Girls State. The program is a week-long immersive learning experience, often held on a college campus where girls live in cities within a dormitory-like setting. The learning, experience, memories, and friendships last a lifetime.

Download Brochure

Program Objectives

The American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program:

  • Develops leadership and pride in American citizens.
  • Educates citizens about our system of government.
  • Instills a greater understanding of American traditions.
  • Stimulates a desire to maintain our democratic government processes within our republic.


Selection Process

ALA Girls State delegates are a diverse group of young women with a shared desire to learn and lead. Girls State citizens come together from small towns, big cities, and rural areas to hold Girls State elections, and their varied backgrounds set the stage for a week of spirited, experiential learning.

American Legion Auxiliary units work with local high school educators to identify girls who have demonstrated leadership qualities. Eligible female students are then recommended and selected by sponsoring American Legion Auxiliary units. Female delegates to ALA Girls State programs must be a legal inhabitant of the United States, either a U.S. citizen or a have a valid U.S. government-issued identification, have completed their junior year in high school and have at least one semester remaining. Each ALA Girls State program and/or ALA unit determines the process they will use to select the delegates for their state, and those decisions are final. The number of ALA Girls State citizens varies by state and is determined by each state’s American Legion Auxiliary resources.

Female high school juniors interested in applying to attend ALA Girls State are encouraged to contact their school counselor or their local American Legion Auxiliary units regarding the application process and deadline.

Selection Criteria

To be eligible, young women must:

  • Be a legal inhabitant of the United States. Participants must provide a copy of their U.S. birth certificate or their U.S. government-issued documentation verifying they are in the United States legally, e.g. green card or visa.
  • Have completed their junior year in high school and have at least one more semester remaining before graduation.
  • Be keenly interested in government and current events.
  • Have high moral character.
  • Show strong leadership abilities.
  • Demonstrate above-average scholastic achievement.


The costs of ALA Girls State programs are underwritten by each state-level American Legion Auxiliary. Girls State delegates registration fees are paid for by the sponsoring local American Legion Auxiliary unit with additional support and funding sometimes coming from various civic and nonprofit organizations. Participating young women may incur nominal expenses for transportation, site-specific fees, or contribution to an optional service project.

ALA Girls Nation

Every year, two outstanding girls from each ALA Girls State program are selected to attend ALA Girls Nation in Washington, D.C. As ALA Girls Nation senators, they campaign for political office, craft and debate the passage of legislation, and meet with their real-life counterparts on Capitol Hill.

More than 6,500 politically astute young women have attended American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation since 1947. Besides a chance to experience the workings of federal government personally, they gain further opportunities to sharpen their leadership skills and learn about their American heritage.

Learn more about ALA Girls Nation


The American Legion Post 39 

  Third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 PM

Sons of the American Legion Squadron 39 

  Second Saturday of each month at Noon

American Legion Auxiliary Unit 39 

  First Wednesday of each month at 6:00 PM