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Natoma girl promotes state program

Published on -2/13/2014, 4:00 PM

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Special to The Hays Daily News

NATOMA -- American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 109, Natoma, gave rousing applause as president Mary Murphy presented gifts to their 2013 Sunflower Girls State delegate, Rachel Lund.

A senior in high school, Lund is an example of the summer program making a lasting impression on her life. After her experience, she became a new junior member of unit 109. Lund has become an advocate for Sunflower Girls State as she promotes the program through presentations to her peers and other organizations.

Sunflower Girls State is sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary of Kansas. The program aims to inspire and educate young women from across the state in leadership. The annual invitational event in June is open to high school students who have completed their junior year. Housed on the Washburn University campus, delegates participate in training through the non-partisan and non-political program designed to teach young women good citizenship. Prior to the event, each delegate prepares for taking the bar exam through "You and the Courts of Kansas." Each delegate who passes the exam becomes a lawyer at Girls State, enabling them to run for other offices. From the wake up call at 4:30 a.m. to the final lights out at 9:30 p.m., participation moves at a fast pace.

"I enjoyed Sunflower Girls State because it gave me an opportunity to learn about government in a fun and exciting way," Lund said in 2013. "We listened to lots of important speakers and met lots of lifelong friends. I would recommend this exciting week to girls who like a challenge, are not afraid to get out of their comfort zone, and want a fun and educational experience."

Since 1937, more than 1 million young women have attended Girls State across the nation. Each state hosts their individual event leading to the national girls conference in Washington. The American Legion Auxiliary continues to educate and inspire youth in future leadership through many programs, including Girls State and the Kansas Highway Patrol Law Enforcement Cadet Academy.

For information on these programs, visit www.kslegionaux.org or call Laah Tucker at (785) 885-4116.

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