The American Legion Auxiliary’s marquee Girls State program, first presented in 1937, is one of the most respected and coveted experiential learning programs presented in the United States.
The program epitomizes the ALA’s mission to honor those who have brought us our freedom through our enduring commitment to develop young women as future leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism. The young women become knowledgeable of the democratic process and how our republic form of government works at the state and national levels.
The Arizona American Legion Auxiliary holds its week-long program at University of Arizona in Tucson. Nearly 300 junior high school girls from across the state are selected through interviews with members or through school counselors. They spend a week operating with patriotic values through a nonpartisan curriculum where students assume the roles of government leaders, campaigning in mock parties to become mayors and county and state officials of their ALA AZ Girls State. In 2019, the ALA Arizona Girls State will celebrate 72 years of sponsoring girls into this patriotic program. Read more about Arizona’s premier program here: http://www.azgirlsstate.com. Read more about the ALA Girls State national program: https://www.alaforveterans.org/ALA-Girls-State/
Every year, two outstanding girls from each ALA Girls State program are selected to attend ALA Girls Nation in Washington, D.C. As ALA Girls Nation “senators,” they campaign for political office, craft and debate the passage of legislation, and meet with their real-life counterparts on Capitol Hill. They are often introduced to the President of the United States. Some of Arizona’s ALA Girls State & Nation participants have gone on to become newscasters, business owners, teachers and more. Former Arizona Governor and Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, is a graduate of the Girls State Program. Read more about the ALA Girls State national program: https://www.alaforveterans.org/ALA-Girls-State/. Read more about the ALA Girls Nation program: https://www.alaforveterans.org/ALA-Girls-Nation/
Honorary Juniors from Vail Unit 109,
with their team-made poppy banner,
are ready for the parade!
Santa Claus arrived at Tucson's Cocio Estrada Unit 59's annual Auxiliary children's Christmas party. Hot chocolate, cookies, doughnuts, stockings and gifts for lots of children.
Peoria’s Unit 62 presents a
Youth Hero Award
to a Glendale youth who alerted his family to a home fire.
Learn more about the American Legion Auxiliary's Premier Program by experiencing the 2018 session!
Phoenix's Unit 41’s Juniors, under Chairman Rosita Hernandez, went to deliver $200 worth of gift cards to military youth at Luke Air Force.
ALA Girls Nation participants in Washington D.C.
Engaging the next generation to become members in the American Legion Auxiliary is the important purpose of the Junior Activities Program. Junior Auxiliary membership is open to girls from infancy through age 17. The Junior Activities Committee prepares girls to become active adult members of the organization by providing positive volunteer experiences that instill the ideals of the Auxiliary. These girls develop leadership skills while having fun and will hopefully become the future leaders of our organization.
The Arizona ALA has nearly 600 honorary junior members. They have participated in parades, ceremonies, poppy distribution and fundraising activities. One group of Juniors raised $2,000 for the American Legion’s Child Welfare Foundation. One Arizona unit’s Junior program was recently recognized with the National Award for their Activities program.
ALA Girls State Senators from across the nation at the U.S. Capitol
To recognize and reward the positive actions of our children and youth, the American Legion Auxiliary has two special national awards bestowed to youth nominated by units. The Youth Hero Award recognizes someone less than 18 years of age who performs a heroic act of physical bravery. The Good Deed Award is for youths 18 years of age or younger who have contributed in a special way to society through community service.
Arizona Units have provided thousands of backpacks to needy children in the community as well as food, clothing, shoes & haircuts. They visit classrooms to teach children about bullying. They hold holiday parties or support community events where community children receive gifts from Santa and food for their holiday meal at home.
ALA Girls State
Douglas Unit 11 juniors helped pack 600 bags with orange, apple, & candy to be handed out to children after they meet with Santa and receive a gift from him.
Honorary Junior members are eligible for membership from birth. A tradition of three generations of Auxiliary members and active volunteers from Glendale
The American Legion Auxiliary provides significant cash assistance and direct service, and supports legislation that affects children at the local, state, and national levels. The Auxiliary's youth development programs focus on teaching responsible citizenship and love for God and Country, as well as helping the children of our veterans and service members and engaging the next generation to become members of the American Legion Auxiliary.