The American Legion Auxiliary’s education program and the girl and boy state program provide students and individuals with opportunities to get involved with their community, education, politics and much more.
“Membership in the Auxiliary is limited to the mothers, wives, daughters, granddaughters, step-daughters and sisters of veterans,” said Karen Smith from the Douglas Auxiliary.
Membership limitations don’t limit the amount of involvement these ladies take part in however.
Smith said the Auxiliary currently has 22 programs; two of which are The Education Program and The Girl and Boy State program.
Each of the local active members work on as many programs as possible.
Smith said that The Education Program sponsors the American Education Week, Veterans in the Classroom, Teacher Appreciation Day, support Reading across America and the Cochise Area Reading Council and are encouraged to take part in “Give Ten for Education”. For “Give Ten for Education” members donate at least 10 notebooks or other school supplies to a local school classroom.
The Education program is also involved in raising funds for Douglas High School Scholarships. In order to receive scholarship the student must be a U.S Citizen, maintain a 2.0 GPA, chose a career in medical or social services and meet all deadlines.
The Girl and Boy State Program has been teaching youth for over 63 years according to Smith. The program teaches patriotism in American Values and freedom. It gives students an opportunity to learn their citizenship responsibilities and principles of democracy.
“In this program we mentor these young men and women to develop leadership skills that may well enhance their ability to become the next President, Senator, or Representative.“ said Smith.
Smith also said that Girl and Boy State educates students on government intricacies.
The program looks for two or three junior level students to be representatives. Students who get chosen are sponsored to attend conferences in Washington D.C. on how bills are prepared, the election process, running city, county and state government and participating in mock trials.
Students are also taught about the importance of diversity and how to handle it in a positive manner.
This year’s state sessions will be held from June 5-11. Girl’s state will be at the University of Arizona and Boys State will be held at Northern Arizona University.
To learn more about this program and others contact Penny Maklary (520)364-5038 or Karen Smith (520)364-7603.