Virginia Girls State is a program of American Legion Auxiliary

American Legion Auxiliary logoVirginia Girls State is a program of The American Legion Auxiliary, a community service organization. For over 100 years the American Legion Auxiliary has been serving, helping, and meeting the needs of our nation’s veterans, military, and their families — both here and abroad.

The 2023 ALA Virginia Girls State program is scheduled to be held on the campus of Longwood University from Sunday June 18 to Saturday June 24, 2023.

The goal of the American Legion Auxiliary Virginia Girls State is to teach rising high school seniors the responsibilities of citizenship in a democratic society. ALA VA Girls State is an interactive, “government in action” experience. We welcome students from Virginia’s public and private high schools to apply as well as homeschool students. Please see eligibility requirements found here.

Important Dates for 2023

  • May 1, 2023: Delegate fees are due to registrar (No funds accepted after this date)
  • May 8, 2023: Online registration must be completed for selected delegates
  • May 15, 2023: Last day for refunds

We will continue to update this website with information regarding the 2023 program.

Emily R.H. Gregory, 2023 Director
American Legion Auxiliary Virginia Girls State

Program Description

Within the Commonwealth of Virginia, for one week each year, a new state comes into being. The physical boundaries of this “state within a state” are the limits of a college campus, but there are no limits to its usefulness in promoting real-life citizenship in Virginia.

ALA Girls State started in 1937

Since the inception of the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program in 1937, nearly one million young women nationwide have had the opportunity to learn firsthand how their state and local governments work. The program has grown to some 20,000 participants annually.

This adventure in Americanism is sponsored annually by the American Legion Auxiliary with the cooperation of many civic clubs, school groups, and community-minded businesses.

Through this program, the American Legion Auxiliary hopes to make our young citizens realize that they are an essential part of their government and are responsible for its character and success. Through it, we seek to teach them individual responsibility to the community, state, and nation.

ALA Virginia Girls State provides participants an opportunity to learn, in a few days, the mechanics, objectives, and ideals of democracy. “Learning by doing” is the keynote to the success of this program.

Eligibility Requirements

Moving in on the first day is exciting!

Candidates for Virginia Girls State are chosen through an interview process conducted by your local American Legion Auxiliary Unit. Candidates are evaluated based on their leadership abilities, interest in government, service to others, and academics.

Only young women who have completed their junior year of high school and have at least one semester of high school remaining are eligible to participate.

Public school, private school, and homeschooled students are eligible to attend ALA Virginia Girls State. For homeschool students, the teaching parent must be educating under the Commonwealth of Virginia Guidelines for homeschooling.

Participants must be United States citizens or legal residents of the United States. Proof of legal status are:

  • A birth certificate certified by a State Bureau of Vital Statistics
  • A court-certified copy of legal adoption papers showing place and date of birth
  • A state-issued driver’s license or state-issued (ID) card that is in compliance with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005, Pub. L. 109—13, 119 Stat.302
  • A government-issued passport with proper endorsement for visiting the United States
  • A U. S. government-issued military ID card or dependent ID card

In case of foreign birth, a potential participant may present any certificate or document duly issued to the bearer by the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, such as a NEXUS card.

For more information contact your District Registrar.

Map of District Registrars

Application Process

Delegates are selected by local units of the American Legion Auxiliary whenever possible. Each ALA local unit determines its own process for selecting delegates and contacts the high schools in its area. If your school hasn’t been contacted by a representative from the ALA District or a local unit then you may follow the steps below for help with the application process.

  1. Using the map below, locate your hometown or high school to determine your district.
  2. Contact the registrar of your district via email for the assistance with the application process.
  3. Online Registration will open in Spring 2023. Information will be shared with paid registrations.

Contact Name
First & Second Anne Starke
Third Ethel Carson
Fourth Elizabeth Shepherd
Fifth & Sixth Erika Evans
Seventh & Eighth Emily Hall Gregory
Ninth & Tenth Emily Hall Gregory
Eleventh Lynne F. Norton
Twelfth Lisa Heitmeyer
Thirteenth Ruthann Brown
Fourteenth & Fifteenth Darla Lisbon
Sixteenth Carol Campbell
Seventeenth Loretta Smith

At every session, ALA Virginia Girls State shares poppy pins made by veterans at the VA hospital in Hampton.
We proudly wear these gems.

Every year, ALA Virginia Girls State sends two senators to Girls Nation.

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