Windham Foundation » Enhancing Windham and the Mountaintop through Education, Recreation and the Arts

Girls State Sponsor

DATE: June 8, 2016


Local Students and Local Volunteer Selected to Represent Greene County at American Legion Auxiliary Girls State, a Premier Girls StatePatriotism and Government Leadership Conference Olivia Baumann of Greenville, Deana DiBenedetto of Athens, Gabriella Morelli of Hensonville and Emily Valario of Prattsville,were selected to attend the 75th American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Empire Girls State session. Lucille Mozzillo of Purling, was also among 37 American Legion Auxiliary volunteers who had the honor of joining 360 high school rising seniors at the 75 th American Legion Auxiliary Empire Girls State at The College of Brockport June 26-June 30. Lucille had the honor of serving as Second Vice Chairman of the program this year. Outstanding girls, known as “citizens,” are selected by local American Legion Auxiliary Units in each of the 62 counties within New York State.

This year Greene County was able to send 4 “citizens” to the program. The program is fully funded by donations from local organizations and American Legion Auxiliary Units and Counties. This year Greene County American Legion Auxiliary received a generous donation from the Windham Foundation to help us sponsor two of our four girls. Without their generous support, we would not have been able to provide this wonderful experience to all of the girls. We would like to thank them for their support of the girls from their community and our program.

This premier leadership conference is designed to provide practical insight into the workings of the government, promote youth civic engagement, instill a sense of pride in America, and empower the next generation of women leaders, providing them with a network that lasts a lifetime.

A key component of the ALA Girls State program is the mock legislative sessions in which the girls write and debate bills. Campaigns are held to elect local officials and an ALA Girls State governor.

In addition to their government forums, the delegates hear distinguished guest speakers, learn various aspects of Americanism and learn about the sacrifices of the American military.

The ALA Girls State experience is a once-in- a-lifetime opportunity for young women across our state. After attending ALA Girls State, the girls come back to their communities filled with patriotism and pride, having gained new leadership skills and built strong connections with the other girls.

About ALA Girls State: 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.

About the American Legion Auxiliary: Members of the American Legion Auxiliary, which was founded in 1919, have dedicated themselves to meeting the needs of the United States’ veterans, military and their families both here and abroad. They volunteer millions of hours yearly, with a value of nearly $3 billion. As part of the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, Auxiliary volunteers across the country also step up to honor veterans and military through annual scholarships and with ALA Girls State programs, teaching high school juniors to be leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism. To learn more about the Auxiliary’s mission or to volunteer, donate or join, visit