American Legion Post 37 sends students to Girls State session

CONTRIBUTED Local students Sofia Di Martino and Rafaela Siewert share their experiences from last year's Florida Girls State sessions with Emily Gilliland and Sarah Gordon, who are representing American Legion Post 37 in this year's sessions.

When four teenage girls get together for lunch they don’t usually discuss running for office, debating legislative bills, and campaign strategies — that is, unless they are preparing to head to Florida Girls State.


Local high schoolers Emily Gilliland and Sarah Gordon, representing St. Augustine’s American Legion Post 37, were doing just that. Giving them advice and sharing their experiences from attending last year’s Girls State sessions were Rafaela Siewert and Sofia Di Martino.

Gilliland and Gordon spent June 30 through July 8 in Tallahassee meeting 300 other girls from around the state who will be high school seniors next year. They were all delegates from local American Legion Auxiliaries in Florida that have funded and coordinated the program promoting Americanism and good citizenship for 70 years.

Girls State delegates stay on the Florida State University campus and hold legislative sessions in the Florida capitol. As “citizens” of the “State of Seminole” they form political parties, hold elections, debate issues and make their own laws.

The Girls State motto is: “Forward forever, backward never, within ourselves our future lies.”

The delegates say they will always remember the motto and strive to live their lives based on its directive.



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