Six young women from THS junior class have been nominated to go to this year’s weeklong event focused on learning, responsible citizenship, and leadership the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State Convention. This program, first presented in 1937, is one of the most respected and coveted experiential learning programs presented in the United States. Our nominees are (L to R) Bekah Coles, Grace Alsup, Brooksley Pruitt, Juliana Jarboe, Emma Payne, and Ashley Pascual.
ALA Girls State is a unique and exciting government-in-action learning program in which American Legion Auxiliary members guide young women to become knowledgeable stewards of freedom, democracy, and patriotic citizens. Less than 1% of high school juniors from schools throughout California are selected for this nationally
recognized leadership program.
To get to this point candidates have been nominated by teachers for their excellent character and citizenship as young ladies who have shown outstanding leadership, honesty and cooperativeness and are in the upper third of their class academically.
The art of civil debate is one of the main skills learned at this premier program. Many ALA Girls State participants have gone on to a lifetime of service to our country in the military, civil service or advocacy.
OVERVIEW OF THE EVENT
At ALA California Girls State, each citizen shares a dorm room with one or more citizens in a residence hall. There are about thirty young women on each floor and these citizens constitute a city. They will form their own government and elect Senators and Assemblywomen to represent them. The elected City Council will enact ordinances to govern their city. Four cities form a county. Each county will form their own government after electing the Board of Supervisors, Superior Court Judge, District Attorney and other county officials. These elected officials will function in all county matters as provided by the constitution and laws of the State of California. The four counties will form our state. Each girl will be assigned a political party, either Federalist or Nationalist, so they may participate in party politics. They will develop their own party platforms and will choose their own issues to discuss. They will participate in primary and general elections to select an American Legion Auxiliary California Girls State Governor, Lieutenant Governor and other state officials.
The citizens will publish a newspaper, and organize a choir, orchestra and talent show. On the final day of ALA California Girls State, the Superior courts will hold their mock trials and the Governor will give her State of the State Address to the citizens.
This is a fast-paced week of learning by doing: NO lectures, NO books and NO tests. Each of the six days is jam-packed with learning, living and growing.
Our 6 nominees will be interviewed next week by a group of representatives from the American Legion. From this group of nominees one will be selected and several alternates. Good luck to all of our nominees.
MEET OUR NOMINEES
“When I heard I was nominated I was very excited and it made me feel special knowing my teachers think that highly of me.” — Bekah Coles
Bekah is part of the THS ASB and serves as one of our Club Commissioners, is a Link Crew leader helping to mentor freshmen and a Wingman. Off campus she is equally as busy helping at her mom’s day care, and volunteering at her church. She also loves to ice skate and spend time with her friends. In the future she planning on working toward a degree that will allow her to work with kids and do mission work.
“Bekah Coles has always been an upbeat, and friendly toward others, willing to help in any way possible, and is so supportive of her classmates.” — Mrs. Needham, Assistant Principal
“I was so excited when I found out I was nominated because I love learning about governments and I’m hoping to gain a better insight into politics.” Emma Payne
Emma is the chairman of Activities for the National Arts Honor Society, is a captain on the JV Soccer team and on the Varsity Swim team, a member of CSF and as been part of the THS Mock Trial team for two years. Emma will tell you her passion are art, history and getting involved in the community. She loves volunteering especially for the Templeton Recreation Department. Putting on climate strikes, she says, “is my favorite way of serving my community” and is planning on putting on at least 3 more climate strikes before she graduates. She has even given a climate speech at Cal Poly. She plays and referees club soccer and basketball games and loves to read and paint in her free time. Emma plans on majoring in Political Science and going on to a four year university.
“Emma has such a positive attitude and is always looking for what she can do to help other people. She is a rockstar!” — Mrs. Warren, THS Mock Trial Advisor and Teacher
“When I found out I was nominated I was extremely flattered, excited and grateful for the opportunity that has been presented to me.” — Brooksley Pruitt
Brooksley is very involved on the THS campus. She is a member of the THS Mock Trial team and an important member of the Peer Tutoring program as well as the WISE Tutorial program. She loves working with kids so for the past three years she has been a youth soccer coach as part of the Templeton Recreation Department. In the future she plans on attending a four year university. She’s not exactly sure of a major but possibly something in the field of Political Science. Regardless of her major though she said she “wants a career that helps individuals and the community”.
“I had the privilege of knowing Brooksley from the time she was a genius freshman in my Geometry class. She has grown into the most caring, giving young lady. Her community service is extraordinary as she volunteers her time to tutor and mentor other students. She has mastered very challenging courses including AP and college prep classes with tremendous finesse and as a student leader in her classes. Brooksley’s peers seek her out when they need help with school and when they need a friendly conversation or sage advice. I have three sons – Brooksley can take her pick! ” Mrs. White, THS Math teacher
“When I found out I was nominated I was very happy and excited to have the chance to interview for this amazing opportunity.” — Julie Jarboe
Julie is involved in THS Mock Trial, a member of our Science Bowl team and the club Society of Women Engineers (SWE). While not at school Julie loves to do gymnastics and volunteer at the Atascadero Library. In her free time Julie says likes to study and spend time with her friends. In the future she plans to attend a four year university and earn a degree in Computer Science.
“Although she has a quiet and reserved personality, her abilities and commitment to school constantly shine through. She is one of my top students in AP Physics, has been a member of science bowl since middle school and is a member of the Society of Women Engineering club. She is a true pleasure to have in class and in clubs.” — Mr. Diodati, Science Teacher and Club Advisor
“When I heard I was nominated I was so excited and honored that I got to be nominated with such an amazing and deserving group of girls.” — Grace Alsup
Grace is a Link Crew leader, a member of CSF and Fellowship of Christian Athletes and plays on the THS Soccer and Volleyball teams. When not at school she is very involved at her church and loves spending time with her amazing family and friends. She also enjoys journaling and reading. In the future Grace plans on going to a 4 year college or university and hopes to pursue a career in physical therapy, physicians assistant or a nurse.”
“Grace is a wonderful person and a fantastic student. I’d be happy to have a dozen Grace Alsups in any class.” – Mrs. Johnson, THS Language Arts Teacher
“There are so many amazing girls in the junior class at THS. I am so honored to just be nominated.”
— Ashley Pascual
Ashley is a busy person. On campus she is part of Link Crew, Wingmen, CSF and a member of the THS Mock Trial team. Off campus she is on the youth board for Must Charities. When she is not busy cheering on the Eagles at a game or in the courtroom competing for THS she is spending time with loved ones. Ashley hopes to go straight to a four year college or university and then on to medical school and residency.
“Ashley makes such a positive difference on our campus. Her energy, passion for all things Templeton, her integrity and her humility are great examples to all.” — Mr. Mac, ASB Director and Link Crew Advisor