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"The Girls State program changed my life and has done so for thousands of young women for over fifty years."

Dr. Cathy Johnson Randall
Director, Computer Based Honors Program
University of Alabama

What Is Girls State?

Girls State is a unique summer program whose purpose is to educate the young women of America in the fundamental aspects of citizenship. It is a laboratory of practical government - a personal application of the duties, responsibilities and privileges of American citizenship. Through this laboratory approach, students experience the processes of government by performing the duties of real office-holders in every day work.

Selection as a delegate to Girls State is one of the highest honors conferred on a high school student. Young women who are selected to participate in Girls State have the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of the workings of government, to strive for and to assume leadership roles, and to realize that their action can make a difference in their community.

Perhaps the greatest hope for the future of our community, state and federal governments is that people will be inspired to participate and to lead because they believe deeply in the responsibilities of citizenship. The Girls State program was formulated with these principles in mind - to offer young women the opportunity to not only study the workings of government, but to be actively involved in governmental procedures. Through this involvement, students develop an appreciation for what citizenship truly means.


Upon arrival to the Program, girls are assigned to "cities", where they will live during their residence at Girls State. The cities will be grouped into counties, and the counties into a mythical state. During the Program, which is operated in accordance with the basic laws of the state of Alabama, girls elect their own city, county and state officials and learn the duties of the various offices; conduct elections; introduce and pass their own bills in their own legislature; make and enforce ordinances regulating their cities; and, manage their own police force to administer justice. Every student holds a definite, integral role in the functions of Girls State. The Program includes one day at the State Capitol, viewing the state, county and city governments in operation and gaining first-hand knowledge from the officials, as well as a visit to the Governor's home. A recreational program complements the main program, and includes a Skit Night. Girls attending Girls State are expected to have a cheerful attitude, a cooperative spirit and a willingness to have fun.

State Staff:

The administrative officers, counselors, recreation supervisors and all in charge of the Program will be women interested in the welfare and development of the girls. Speakers and instructors on the various phases of governmental procedure will be men and women who are experienced in government and who are leaders in their respective communities.

Reminder To The Girls State Delegate:

As a Delegate to Girls State, you are a citizen for a week in a microcosm of government. Just as with our local, state and national governments, there are certain basic laws (rules) which must be followed for an orderly functioning of this program. Girls State offers you a myriad of opportunities to experience government first-hand as a citizen, as a voter, as a candidate, as an official, as a policy maker, as a friend.

Take advantage of each and every opportunity - participate, participate, participate!