The 2017 citizens of ALA VGS began the week with as strangers, all coming from different backgrounds and experiences to gather at Lipscomb University. 581 delegates arrived to find eager counselors bubbling with excitement, and while most were equally excited, many citizens were apprehensive about their time at Girls State. Little did they know what the week would hold!
The new citizens hit the ground running with a jam-packed agenda beginning with city elections on Sunday night. Girls in each of the 14 cities threw their names in the hat to run for city mayor, judge, and councilwomen, and they began the exciting process of forming a brand-new government in the state of Volunteer. Over the following six days, more brave citizens would take chances and run for offices on the city, county, and state levels!
You can’t think of citizenship at ALA VGS without thinking of our amazing citizenship director, Jenise Gordon! Citizens of the 71st Session of ALA VGS learned all about Tennessee government and the history of the women’s suffrage movement, including a history lesson about our state’s role in the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Thanks for your vote, Harry T. Burn!
Alumni Auditorium was transformed on Tuesday night for a singing competition unlike any other! Bugs, Shrek, Boys State delegates, and a pantry full of food infiltrated the scene for a night of singing so memorable that we still “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” Good luck remembering the real lyrics to those songs ever again, ladies!
71st Legislative Session
This year was one for the record books in the ALA VGS legislature! 2017 marked the most productive legislature ever at Girls State, and the senators and representatives of the 71st session practiced excellent civil discourse as they wrestled with hotly debated topics.
After a full day focused on the gubernatorial election, delegates showed off their athletic (and not quite so athletic) skills at the VGS Olympics when they participated in events like the Mega Relay, Bag Bite, Soccer Dribble, and of course, Face the Cookie. The competition was fierce, so we capped off the night with a memorable vesper from the junior counselors.
Girls State Game Show
On Saturday morning citizens tested their knowledge of Tennessee government in an environment more electric than The Price is Right! From party politics to VGS speakers to constitutional officers, no topic was off limits at (GS)2. Fortunately, VGS delegates are the brightest students in Tennessee, and they turned this into a seriously competitive event down to the final question!
On Monday night citizens watched in awe as ALA VGS Co-Director, Major Kathleen Isaacson, shared her unique perspective about America today influenced by her many years serving in the U.S. Army. Later in the week, TBI Director Mark Gwyn encouraged citizens to do the right thing in their everyday lives, and Cathryn Rolfe and Robin Parrish offered meaningful insights that only a VGS alum could provide.
A week’s worth of elections culminated in the inauguration of the 2017 ALA VGS governor, Priscilla Kirkpatrick. Priscilla ran a tough race against two other excellent candidates, and she spent her week sharing her party platform with her fellow voters through speeches, Whistle Stop, and party conventions. We look forward to seeing what great things you will do at ALA VGS, Governor Kirkpatrick!
The final day of ALA VGS is always bittersweet. While we celebrated a full week of accomplishments, we also had to say goodbye to friends that will be in our hearts forever. As you settle back into your normal lives at home, don’t ever forget the lessons you learned and the memories you made here. You’ll always be a part of the ALA VGS family!