Washington, D.C. – Jane Thurston, Morristown, is among 31 American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) volunteers who have the honor of joining 96 female high school rising seniors July 24-31 in Washington, D.C. for the 74th American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation. As part of the premier ALA program, two outstanding teenage girls, known as “senators,” are selected to represent their respective state at ALA Girls Nation after participating in one of 48 ALA Girls State sessions held across the country.

ALA Girls Nation is a seven-day leadership conference that provides aspiring young women leaders with practical insight into how the federal government operates, instills a sense of pride in our country, and promotes youth civic engagement. Many participants of the program go on to have careers in public service at the local, state, and national level.

Thurston was selected to be on the ALA Girls Nation staff because of her exemplary service to her community and the American Legion Auxiliary.

A key component of the ALA Girls Nation program involves mock senate sessions complete with caucuses and debating bills that range from personal to political interests. Other activities on the agenda a visit to Arlington National Cemetery for a wreath-laying ceremony, a community service project, and a tour of the D.C. monuments.

“ALA Girls Nation is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our nation’s future leaders to learn about the inner workings of the federal government before they are of voting age,” said Wendy Riggle, ALA Girls Nation Committee chairman. “After attending their local ALA Girls State program and then ALA Girls Nation, the girls return home ready to be engaged citizens at all levels of government.”

Riggle, along with Thurston and other ALA volunteer leaders at the conference encourage the students to continue their community service after ALA Girls Nation by becoming members of the American Legion Auxiliary, as well as leaders in their communities.

The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) is a community of volunteers serving veterans, military, and their families. Our members also support the mission of The American Legion in improving the quality of life for our nation’s veterans. Proud sponsor of ALA Girls Nation, National Poppy Day® and recognized for advocating for veterans on Capitol Hill, the more than 600,000 ALA members across the country volunteer millions of hours annually and raise millions of dollars in service to veterans, military, and their families. Founded in 1919, the ALA is one of the oldest patriotic membership organizations in the U.S.A. To learn more and to volunteer, join, and donate, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org.