This past June, two Johnson seniors, Komal Ramzanali and Andra Dugger, represented Lady Bird Johnson High School at the American Legion Auxiliary Texas Bluebonnet Girls State at Texas Lutheran University. The qualifications for Girls State Citizenship are leadership, scholarship, and character. Several candidates, originally nominated by Johnson faculty, went through the Auxiliary interview process, and Komal and Andra were selected to attend the 2010 Girls State.
The purpose of the American Legion Auxiliary Bluebonnet Girls State is to “educate our young women in the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of American citizenship” and to “awaken within the youth of our nation a sincere conviction that a well-informed, intelligent, participating citizenry is most vitally needed to protect and preserve our American institutions and our American democracy.”
Komal Ramzanali and Andra Dugger spent one week at TLU learning about city, county and state governments. These two students, along with 500 other citizens of a mythical 51 State, organized their own local and state governments and chose their own officials in accordance with regular election procedures. Girls State citizens also introduce and debate their own legislative bills, and justice is administered by their own law enforcement agencies and courts. The political program is non-partisan and the two political parties, the “National” and the “Federal,” are purely fictitious; however, the city, county, and state governments must use the existing Constitution and laws as guides. Culminating a week of “learning by doing,” Komal and Andra and the 500 Girls State citizens visited our State Capitol in Austin where they assembled in the Senate Chambers to present and vote on their own amendments.
“Girls State was an unforgettable experience,” Komal Ramzanali said. “I learned about my duties as an American citizen, my privileges as an American woman, and most importantly I gained a love for the great state of Texas!”
“I enjoyed running a campaign and being elected to City Council,” Andra Dugger said. “Girls State will surely be one of the most memorable weeks of my life. Not only did I gain tremendous knowledge about the legislative process of our government, but I also made new and lasting friendships with girls from all over the state of Texas.” Andra added, “I feel so grateful to have experienced Girls State, and I plan to make good use of what I learned there.”