Palmetto Bay’s American Legion Post 133 hosted the 2018 Girls State orientation briefing on Saturday, Apr. 21, for the 14th District.
The American Legion Women’s Auxiliary conducted the meeting to let this year’s delegates, alternates and their parents know what to expect during the trip to Tallahassee and the week’s visit to the State Capitol.
The 14th District is comprised of American Legion Auxiliary Units from Key West to North Miami Beach, and the delegates and alternates are from schools in those areas.
Irene Lathrop, a Girls State Staff member and Girls State chair for Unit 36, was the orientation presenter. Linda Barichak, 14th District president for the American Legion Auxiliary, attended, as did Stacy Cusano, 14th District Girls State chair and Palmetto Bay Unit 133 Auxiliary president.
Besides the delegates and alternates, the girls’ parents attended with some of the girls’ siblings, there to learn about what they were going to be embarking on during their week long stay on the campus of Florida State University. The program will run June 6-14.
This year’s delegates are Nicole Marino, Shannon Pitchford, Jefflyne DeSilme, Nicole Berenfeld, Jianan Zhang, Sorelis Milian, Lavrita Laso and Lucy Lannigan. The alternates are Danielle Neil, Victoria Villa and Candace Matthews.
The Florida Girls State program is designed to instill an understanding of the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship and public service. Each year 300 young women have a chance to learn about America’s democratic form of government through first-hand experience.
The delegates will arrive at Post 133 very early in the morning of June 6 to board busses that will take them to Tallahassee on a nine-day trip. There will be more than 35 staff members and six State Troopers accompanying the girls at all times, and they will stay in dormitories on the FSU campus. They will form their own city governments, run for office, write bills and attend State Capitol meetings to observe how things work.
Besides the activities in Tallahassee the delegates will have a chance to compete for several scholarships that will help with college costs.
They will return on June 14.
Out of the approximately 300 delegates who will attend, two will be voted to move on to Girls Nation, which takes place in Washington, DC.