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American Legion Auxiliary honors local youths as Girl State attendees

By Staff | Aug 18, 2009

This summer, the women of the American Legion Auxiliary proudly sponsored four area teens to attend Girls State in Tallahassee. Attending the program were Kylee Shirakawa, June Cadsawan, Polina Diaz and Lindsay Cobb.
Last week the members of the auxiliary invited the girls to attend their weekly meeting to be recognized for a job well done. Cobb attended the meeting and told the ladies of the auxiliary about her experience at Girls State.
“It was a good program and I learned a lot. Each of us were asked to present a bill and I introduced a bill that would require drivers over 65 to be tested every year for hearing, vision and reflexes. My bill passed with a 14 to 1 vote,” she said. “I also got voted outstanding citizen for my city and earned three college credits so it was a worthwhile and enjoyable experience.”
Cobb attends Mariner High School and is a varsity cheerleader during football and basketball season and is a member of Volunteens, executive council and Girl Scouts. She works part-time at Applebee’s and enjoys photography.
In the future, Cobb plans to attend an out-of-state college and aspires to become a paleontologist, and is hopeful that she will be able to participate in an exchange program to study in a foreign country.
Shirakaua attends Cape Coral High School and is involved in student government. She also is a member of the lacrosse team, National Honor Society, National Art Honors Society and the International Baccalaureate Programme.
She takes voice lessons once a week and works part-time. After high school, she plans to study either international affairs, the law or an area of the political sciences.
Diaz also attends Cape Coral High School and is involved with Model United Nations and serves as president of the school’s newly formed Amnesty International. She also is a contributor to Literary Magazine and is a freelance reporter for a local newspaper.
She also serves as a staff intern for Sen. Bill Nelson with the Young Democrats of Lee County. She would like to attend college in the New England coastal area and plans to double major in political science and Russian, a language which she is fluent in.
Cadsawan attends Cape Coral High School and also is involved in student government. She is a member of the Future Problem Solvers, the lacrosse team and is in the IB program. Away from school she is a student volunteer at SWFL Regional Medical Center and is a member of the Filipino-American Association.
She also works part-time at AMC Theatres. She plans to attend Florida State University to major in nursing. She hopes to one day specialize in oncology and radiology.
The American Legion Auxiliary began the Girls State program in 1937 and was designed primarily to teach young women responsible citizenship.
Since the inception of the program, American Legion Auxiliaries from across the nation have sent nearly one million young ladies through programs in their home states to learn first hand how their state and local government work.
Girl State programs can be found in every state with the exception of Hawaii.