Written by Allison Kelly
High school juniors from across the state enjoying a workshop during Girls State at Eastern last year.
Willimantic, CT - Eastern Connecticut State University again will host more than 180 Connecticut high school juniors for the Laurel Girls State program from June 27-July 2.
Sponsored by the American Legion and the Legion's Auxiliary, Laurel Girls State prepares young ladies for careers in government through citizenship and democracy. Some of the guest speakers will include Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who will speak on June 29. On June 30, Assistant Comptroller Martha Carlson is scheduled to speak and Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz is scheduled to speak on July 1. Several state representatives and legislators will also attend.
"We are delighted to host Girls State for the third year in a row," said Victoria Lorenzen, program facilitator in the Office of Professional Development in Eastern's School of Continuing Education. "We are developing a wonderful collaboration, working with professionals such as Sue Larson, chair and director of Laurel Girls State, We hope to develop the same type of long-term relationship that we have with Boys State, which returned to campus this year for the 22nd year in a row."
The Girls State program has provided students with hands-on citizenship experience and government participation for more than 60 years. Program officials focus on patriotism by involving students in all aspects of government and by enhancing pride in one's country. Students elect officials on a local, county or state level who then carry out the duties of their offices. Students will also write bills and enact legislation. Girls State officials hope the experience will result in lifelong participation in government.