The Albert E. Hoschler American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 186 has named the 2013 Girls State recipient. It is Akron-Westfield junior Maggi Liebetrau.
She is the daughter of Steve and Laurie Liebetrau of Akron, S.D.
Liebetrau has been involved in school and community plays, marching band, concert band, choir, Large Group speech, Individual Events speech, National Honor Society and National History Day.
She presently serves as a mentor for History Day, helping middle school performers prepare for contest. She also was the Union County Electric Cooperative’s 2012 representative for the youth tour in Washington D.C.
Liebetrau was also honored with All-State honors in Individual Events Speech this spring, performing her prose selection on the University of Northern Iowa campus on March 26th.
Learning that she had been selected as a Girls State representative, Liebetrau said, “I applied to Girls State because I think it is a good learning experience for high school girls to learn about how the government works.”
“Some day we will be the leaders of the United States,” she said, “and if we don’t know how to run it, we won’t do a very good job.”
“Girls State will offer me the chance to learn about government and meet girls from all over the state of Iowa who want to learn the same things I do,” said Liebetrau. “I can offer Girls State a leader who is willing and excited to learn how the different levels of government work separately and together.”
“I believe that in order to be good leaders we must know and understand how our leaders work and how they cooperate to make our town, our state, and our nation stronger and better for the future,” she said.
Iowa Girls State is one of the premier programs sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary and was all started by a dream of four women over 66 years ago in hopes of teaching young women about the political process. Girls State is a “learning by doing” program, which takes the girls through the entire political process, according to Auxiliary information.
It covers city government which is non-partisan in Iowa. Each citizen is assigned to a floor, which is her city for the week. Early in the week, the girls elect their mayors and city councils, transact city business, pass city ordinances and work on a city project for judging later. They are also divided into political parties and campaign to get their parties’ candidates elected and create party loyalty. By the end of the week, they have elected county and state officials. On Friday evening, Inauguration is held which includes the closing of the final joint session of the House and Senate, the installation of the Governor and her officials, and many scholarships are awarded and the Girls Nation Senators are announced.
During the week, the American Legion Auxiliary President speaks about the various Auxiliary programs and there are several speakers on a variety of subjects.
The presiding Girls State Governor opens and closes each day’s session and there are several activities throughout the week such as daily flag raising and lowering, a candle-lighting ceremony, a tour of Iowa State University and shopping at the bookstores. Girls State also has a store which stocks items such as extra tees, notebooks, and fun items.
Girls State Citizens must be between their junior and senior year of high school and are selected by their local American Legion Auxiliary Unit.