TORI J. NORRIS | The Greenville Standard
For one week at the University of Alabama, Ashley Lynch was a member of a mock government at Alabama Girls State where she learned many things about the government, and herself.
Sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, the first Girls State was held in Alabama in 1942 with less than 70 girls in attendance. This past year, approximately 350 delegates were in attendance at Alabama’s Girls State.
“I really enjoyed the legislative sessions where we voted on mock bills,” said Ashley. “I was in the House of Representatives and it was supposed to be run as close to the real House as possible. We were presented with different bills and most everyone participated and made amendments. It was really fun and gave me an understanding of parliamentary procedure.”
Girls State also provides the delegates with the opportunity to hear from many speakers. Former Alabama Girls State Governor and Girls Nation President, Kate Danella, State Treasurer Young Boozer and Lieutenant Colonel Shannon Juby were some of the speakers. “Lt. Col. Juby made the biggest impact on me,” said Ashley. “She is a female in the Air Force who always knew what she wanted to do and went for it. She faced people telling her that her dream wasn’t possible and here she is serving as a fighter pilot.” Being a fighter pilot is not Ashley’s dream, but her story was inspiring. “I learned to never give up on my dreams.”
One speaker also taught Ashley to swear, drink, fail, lie and fight. “I learned to swear to put relationships first, drink from the fountain of knowledge, fail because I learn from mistakes, lie down at night and thank God for the opportunities He has given me and fight for what I want.”
In addition to the many speakers, sessions and elections the delegates are also given time for fun. There was a skit night where groups performed lip sync skits in front of a panel of judges…who happened to be five of the University of Alabama’s football players. Ashley and other delegates took advantage of being in casual clothes and decided to run through the fountain in front of the Ferguson Center and on Thursday night they had an inauguration dinner for the newly elected Girls State Governor in The North Zone, a large room that overlooks Bryant-Denny Stadium.