What started as a small nomination, turned into a huge opportunity for Junior Nicole Shin.
Shin was completely unaware of Girls State all together, until she received a notification that she was a nominee. Opportunities like this don’t come around often.
“I actually had no idea this program existed when I was nominated,” Nicole Shin said. “I learned about the opportunity when I received a nomination letter during class one day.”
Like every other recipient of a nomination letter, the junior girls at Thousand Oaks High School were nominated by various staff members.
“A handful of girls were nominated by either their APUSH teachers, counselors, mock trial teachers, or ASB teacher,” Shin said.
Junior Kaitlyn Briggs, being the runner up for Girls State was one of 7 to 8 girls initially nominated for the spot, was nominated by her US history teacher.
“[Being the runner up] means that if the delegate does not go, then I have the wonderful opportunity of attending the program,” Kaitlyn Briggs said.
After being nominated, Briggs researched Girl State and found out about the week long program, where junior girls from around California learn the basic ideals and principles of American government. Her initial interest was sparked when she read an article in the newspaper last year, written by the girls who previously attended.
“I found further information about how [the program] is focused on leadership, empowering women, and taking roles in the government and producing their own bills,” Briggs said. “It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for junior girls in high school to gain an experience beyond the scope of school and build relationships with girls who are like minded and thrive for a challenge.”
Out of the 7 to 8 nominations picked by faculty members at every California schools only five girls move on to the interview process. After Shin’s interview she immediately found out she was the delegate for TOHS, she was ecstatic.
“A couple weeks [after the nominations,] we were interviewed as a group by two women from the American Legion Auxiliary,” Shin said. “Then directly after the interview they chose a delegate and an alternate.”
California Girls State is one of several Girl States held throughout there county, there is only one delegate chosen per high school so it is a huge honor.
“Girls State is held by every state in the country,” Shin said. “So, in California there is about 500 girls chosen for the program each year.”
Shin is looking forward to this opportunity to learn about government , but also to meet other delegates.
“I hope to learn more about the US government and the action that is taken to make a bill into a law,” Shin said. “I am also looking forward to meeting other girls from around the state.”
The program will be held at Claremont McKenna College in California from June 24 to June 29. Dedicating one week to teaching high school junior girls about government, leadership, and the importance of using their voices to promote change.