Emma Eldridge, Peyton Newman selected for Girls State
Sunday, 07 May 2017 18:30

Emma Eldridge and Peyton Newman, both juniors at Winamac Community High School, have been named as delegates to attend the 76th annual American Legion Auxiliary Girls State.

Emma is the daughter of Larry and Mary Eldridge, and Peyton is the daughter of Art and Melissa Newman.

The Girls State program is one of the most respected experiential learning programs presented in the United States. The program honors those who have brought freedom through a commitment to the development of young women as future leaders. The focus is on education in the democratic process and how the U.S. republic form of government works at the state and national levels.

Each summer across the nation, approximately 16,000 young women participate in weeklong ALA Girls State programs. They work through a nonpartisan curriculum and assume the roles of government leaders, campaigning in mock political parties to become mayors, county and state officials. This weeklong immersive learning experience is held on a college campus where the delegates live in “cities” within a dormitory-like setting.

The learning, experience, memories and friendships last a lifetime.

Emma and Peyton were selected as they meet all the criteria. They are enrolled in an Indiana high school, have completed their junior year, and will return to high school next year. Both were selected by the local American Legion Auxiliary. Emma and Peyton are in the upper half of their class academically. Teens interested in attending in future years should know that home schooled teens are eligible if their home school is registered with the State of Indiana, the local school superintendent, or a Home School Association.

The learning experience comes with expectations. Each delegate must stay through the entire session, show respect for the American Flag, participate in all aspects of the scheduled program, follow the guidelines and rules, and show proper respect to all staff members and all other delegates. Love for God and Country will be broadened by flag ceremonies and non-denominational religious services. All delegates are expected to attend these programs.

Citizenship, not politics, is emphasized at ALA Hoosier Girls State, and competition for elective office is the means to an end, not the goal.

In Pulaski County, the program is financially supported by the American Legion Post 71 of Winamac.