Over the summer, four students attended Illini Girls State at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, a program for girls only. Mia Williams, Emily Murillo-Campos, Juliana Tapia, and Fernanda Villalpando participated in this weeklong civics-related program funded by the American Legion. The students used their knowledge of government to further develop their understanding of city, county, and state government, as well as the importance of voting and getting involved in the community. They heard from guest speakers, including active military personnel, on varied topics, such as patriotism and politics.
Mia Williams reflected on the week. Mia said, “Girls State was a very wonderful experience. We learned about American patriotism, the American electoral process, and how our government works at both state and national levels. There was a two party system that we were placed into so that we could have a first-hand experience of how government and politics work. Every day of the week we heard from different guest speakers. They all spoke about something that had to do with our government or politics, whether it was their college degrees or their service in the military. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity where there are so many invaluable pieces of life advice.”