Program and Purpose

The ALA Girls State program in Arkansas, is a program planned to provide citizenship training for young women of high school age; to afford them an opportunity to live together in mythical cities and counties as self-governing citizens; to inform them about the duties, privileges, and participation in the functioning of their government; and to help them grasp the meaning of some of the responsibilities which they must assume when they become adults.  The delegates elect their own officials, organize their own legislature, and have official visits with their respective counterparts in the Capitol.

History of Girls State

The American Legion Auxiliary first sponsored Girls State in 1937 and now 49 State Departments have a Girls State program.  Over 16,000 high school young women are now involved annually, and it is estimated that nearly one million young women have participated in the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program since its beginning.  Many high profile and successful women in the United States today confirm their attendance as an American Legion Auxiliary Girls State Delegate among their achievements and credentials.

What is Arkansas Girls State?

ALA Arkansas Girls State is a program of education, which has been sponsored by the ALA Department of Arkansas since 1942.  It has provided training for over 55,000 Arkansas young women in the fundamental aspects of citizenship and practical government for the past seventy-six (76) years.  The purpose of ALA Arkansas Girls State is to educate young women of high school age in the duties, privileges, and responsibilities of American citizenship and to provide an opportunity for them to participate in the actual function of their government.

Eligibility 

Eligibility is limited to any young woman in her Junior or third year of high school (prior to starting the 12th grade) who is properly selected, meeting all qualifications, and who is able to attend the entire session.

Qualifications and Selection

Girls State delegates are chosen on the following qualifications in this order of importance:

LEADERSHIP, CHARACTER and HONESTY, SCHOLARSHIP, COOPERATIVENESS, and COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION and SERVICE.

The High School Principal and a selected committee of teachers at each high school, work closely with the ALA Unit Chairman to interview and make a selection of delegates.

Once the Delegates are selected at the high school, those young women will make their registration online through this website.  The Delegate should answer all questions on the application, and print out the final application.  We suggest each student make or print two copies, one to turn into the school and one to keep for herself.  Important information from that registration application will be referred to as the application is processed.  This stage is simply an application, and completing this form does not guarantee a place at ALA Arkansas Girls State.  The Delegate will receive a Congratulatory Email Letter when she is accepted into the program.

The Unit Chairman of the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State, and the High School Principal will also receive notification regarding the selection of Delegates.  All schools and chairman are required to follow the suggestions that will be given by the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Arkansas Girls State Committee.  The final approval of young women selected must be left to the local American Legion Auxiliary Unit and the Arkansas Girls State Committee.

Applications and Deadlines

Early application and enrollment are necessary and strongly encouraged.  Notification and Application Registration Forms are sent to the local Unit President and/or to some High School Principals.  Applicants will be accepted in the order in which they are received.  The deadline for all applicants must be submitted to the American Legion Auxiliary—Department of Arkansas Headquarters no later than Thursday, March 27, 2018.  The non-refundable payment of delegate fees must be submitted with the application.

Each delegate accepted into the Girls State Session will receive notification via e-mail.

Place, Facilities, and Medical Service

American Legion Auxiliary Arkansas Girls State will be held from May 27th through June 1st, 2018, on the campus of Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.  All young women will be housed in dormitories on the campus.  The delegates will be under the supervision of City Counselors.  A Nurse will on the staff and in attendance at all times.  Health and Accident Insurance protects the American Legion Auxiliary Arkansas Girls State delegates from the time they leave home until they return.  All delegates attending should be in good health, well adjusted mentally, socially, and physically, and able to submit upon arrival a Doctor’s Medical Certificate of Health (physical) completed within the previous thirty (30) days of the commencement of the session.

Delegates will report to the front desk of their assigned dormitory at Harding University when On-site Registration begins at 12:00 noon on Sunday, May 27, 2018.

All delegates must be picked up from Harding University by 10:00 a.m. on Friday, June 1, 2018.

ON-Site Registration is Required

On-site American Legion Auxiliary Arkansas Girls State Registration is required for every delegate and will begin at 12:00 noon on Sunday, May 27, 2018.  Each delegate who has received notification of acceptance to attend the American Legion Auxiliary Arkansas Girls State must also register on-site at the beginning of the session, at the dorm where she is assigned.  She must also bring with her a Doctor’s Medical Certificate of Health (physical) completed within the previous thirty (30) days of the commencement of the session.

Fees and Sponsorship

The cost of the six-day American Legion Auxiliary Arkansas Girls State Session is $200 per Delegate and must be attached to the Registration Application at the time it is submitted to the Department Headquarters for processing.  Submission of the Registration Application and fee does not guarantee acceptance or selection.

The delegate fee is NOT to be paid by the delegate or their family, but rather this fee should be paid by sponsorship through the Auxiliary Unit, Community or Civic Organization, Business or school.  The Auxiliary Unit or school may also assist to locate sponsors to support the cost of the delegate fee.

Any American Legion Auxiliary Unit or high school desiring assistance in sponsoring its quota of delegates to Girls State should contact patriotic, civic, or fraternal organizations in its community for that purpose.  Organizations may share expenses.

Transportation to and from the ALA Girls State Session and any spending money which the delegates may desire are the only monetary obligations of the parents.

Sponsorship for Delegate Fees

It is an honor to be selected as a Delegate to attend ALA Arkansas Girls State, confirming that the student maintains and meets all of the qualifications and is among the highest caliber individual.  As such the ALA Arkansas Units work closely with the schools, and in many cases assist with sponsorship for the Delegates to attend.

The ALA Arkansas Girls State program and Delegate Fees are expected to be paid through sponsors, and not by the student and/or parents.  In some cases, the High School assists in locating sponsorship funds from local business and civic organizations.  If a local American Legion Auxiliary Unit is working with the school, they also locate sponsorship funds to assist with the Delegate Fees.  Some schools utilize “booster” type programs where the previous year’s Delegates assist in obtaining sponsorship funding for the next year Delegates.

If you have been selected to attend ALA Arkansas Girls State, and are unsure of your Delegate Fee payment, contact your school and/or local American Legion Auxiliary Unit for details.

Non-Refundable Fees

All fees to the ALA Arkansas Girls State Session are Non-Refundable. If the delegate must cancel attendance to ALA Arkansas Girls State they must notify their school AND the American Legion Auxiliary Headquarters on May 27, 2018.  All fees are non-refundable, and cancellation may allow another delegate to attend if space is available.

If illness prevents the attendance of a delegate, the ALA Girls State Office at Harding University must be notified by telephone before noon on May 27, 2018, at (479) 754-1901.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Delegates will not be allowed to arrive late, leave early, or “check out” for any part of the session.  Delegates who cannot attend the entire session should not be selected as delegates.

Applications and Deadlines

Early application and enrollment is necessary and strongly encouraged.  Notification and Application Registration Forms are sent to the local Unit President and/or to some High School Principals.  Applicants will be accepted in the order in which they are received.  The deadline for all applicants must be submitted to the American Legion Auxiliary—Department of Arkansas Headquarters no later than Friday, April 22, 2018.  The non-refundable payment of delegate fees must be submitted with the application.

Each delegate accepted into the Girls State Session will receive notification via e-mail.