Four amazing young women from THS junior class have been nominated to go to this year’s weeklong event focused on learning, responsible citizenship, and leadership at 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 Helia Bushong, Vivi Jensen, Ashlyn Janzen, and Maddie Bobbitt. 

Girls State is a mock government program where American Legion Auxiliary members teach participants to become knowledgeable stewards of freedom, democracy, as well as being  patriotic citizens. It is a huge honor to be nominated as less than 1% of high school juniors from schools throughout California are selected for this nationally recognized conference. 

This year the program will be held virtually from Monday, June 28 – Saturday, July 3, 2021, to abide by current welfare guidelines in order to stay safe amidst the pandemic. These four girls are all nominees and will compete with one another in a series of interviews until one girl is chosen, along with a first and second alternate. Being nominated in itself speaks very highly of our four young women, all of them are great students, friends and community members and have demonstrated respect, kindness, integrity and leadership and are standouts among standouts. 

Helia Bushong

“When I was nominated I felt pleasantly surprised and highly honored.”

Helia Bushong

Helia has participated in THS ASB for her entire high school career and is currently serving as the secretary. She is also in the STEM program and a member of many clubs on campus  including Feminist Club, Environmental Club, and CSF. Helia is also an amazing athlete who competes in both of our soccer and track programs. When she isn’t busy with all those extracurriculars she enjoys “reading, spending time with my friends and family, and working at a family business” as well as going to the beach and spending time in nature. In the future Helia hopes to attend a four year university here in California, UC San Diego being her top choice. She is still unsure of what she would like to major in but she is interested in Environmental Science and Psychology. 

“I feel so fortunate to have had Helia as a student in my AP Seminar course last year. Helia is a hard working student who manages her AP coursework with her extra-curricular activities. What also greatly impressed me about Helia was her inclusivity with her classmates. Helia has such a compassionate nature. She works to include her peers and is always willing to help out when someone needs some support with an assignment or just an ear to listen. Helia is one of those students who just seems to naturally excel, but does so with grace. She is an excellent representation for Girls’ State.”


Vivi Jensen

“I admired every girl that had been nominated this year and last, so seeing my name next to theirs was definitely a shocker.”

Vivi jensen

Vivi is very active on campus and is a part of the cheer team, peer aide where she works with students with disabilities and link crew as well as clubs like Wingmen and Chess Club. She is busy off campus too where she is a member of Must! Charities’ youth board and on weekends she does hospitality and digital marketing for Booker Vineyard. Whenever she has freetime Vivi likes to spend it “with friends, reading, or cooking up a new dish.” Another big part of her life is her love for traveling, she loves new experiences and traveling is a great way to do that! After high school Vivi hopes to go to college somewhere on the East Coast where she wants to major in business in order to pursue a marketing career in the fashion industry with the goal of living and working in New York City. 

“Vivi’s compassionate and caring nature is an essential characteristic; she is a natural leader. She possesses great social skills and has a calming demeanor. Students often love engaging with her joyful personality. Vivi definitely has unique traits that will make her go far in life and I feel blessed to have had the experience of interacting with her in my classroom and on campus.”


Ashlyn Janzen

“I felt really honored, and a bit bubbly at the prospect of being 1 of 4 girls picked from my grade”

ashlyn janzen

Ashlyn is extremely involved on campus by being a part of the basketball and tennis teams, Co-President of FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), as well as regularly attending Kindness Club and FNL. Outside of school she says she spends her time “trying to enjoy my homework, having great conversations at church groups, shooting hoops with my dad, playing with my friends (aka babysitting), and obeying my cat Holly.” Her plans for the future include going to a Christian College to earn an MBA. She is currently interested in becoming a social entrepreneur where she can  build a non-profit business where she can change people’s lives for the better.

“Ashlyn has distinguished herself as one who is a well-rounded, goal-oriented leader in the fields of academics, athletics and extracurricular activities.  She has earned the respect and admiration of her peers through her strong work ethic, dedication and determination.   Ashlyn is a living representative of character.  It’s not uncommon to see Ashlyn helping a new student feel welcome or volunteering and serving behind the scenes in the community.  Ashlyn truly encompasses who we should be as Eagles and how we should impact the world and society at large.”


Maddie Bobbitt 

“I was extremely flattered and honored when I found out that I was nominated for Girl’s State. I remember all of the girls that were nominated last year and how wonderful they all are, so I am very grateful to be selected into the same kind of group as them!”


Maddie has been a part of ASB since her Freshman year and has since served as Sophomore and currently Junior class president. She is also a top-notch athlete that participates in soccer, tennis and cross country. Maddie is also the secretary of Environmental Club and activily participates in Feminist Club and CSF. When she’s not in school or doing homework you’ll find Maddie “running all through the hills of Atascadero, hiking with my family and dogs, camping, spending time with my goats, and reading.” She also loves biking and is an amazing cook. Her signature dishes are chocolate cakes, lemon tarts, and Tofu Katsu Onigirazu. As if that isn’t enough, she also babysits, works at Hidden Springs Christmas Tree Farm over Christmas break and volunteers at Camp Natoma. As far as the future goes Maddie plans to attend a four-year university, and while she is undecided on a major is extremely interested in environmental science, psychology, languages, and culinary arts. And to make the most of her college experience she hopes to study abroad!

Maddie is one of those young people who truly makes an impact and a positive difference in everything she is involved in.  On the field, the court, in the classroom and in the community Maddie displays her skills, wisdom, passion, creativity and positive attitude.   She is a leader not only in title but in word and deed as well.  She always exceeds expectations.”


With all that said, congratulations to our nominees! Templeton High School is lucky to have you! Wings up!


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