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Sandy Journal

Local Girl Is Girls State Governor

Jan 30, 2015 12:32PM ● By Ty Gorton
By Elise Hall

Editor’s Note: Elise Hall of Sandy was elected as Utah’s Girl’s State governor for next summer. Here she shares some of her experiences.

My name is Elise Hall, and I’m honored to be serving as Girls’ State Governor 2014-2015. My duties in the next year are to represent the American Legion Auxiliary and Utah Girls State 2014. I will also help plan and return to help run next year’s Girls State. I have already had the opportunity to speak at the American Legion opening convention and at graduation from Girls State. I would just briefly like to share with you what my experience at Girls State was like.

I went into the week excited to learn about government and politics and to make new friends, and it turns out that I got so much more. I felt that throughout the week there were three overarching principles. The first being to push yourself. My biggest goal during the week was to put myself out there, be outside of my comfort zone, so I ran for a lot of positions. I won some but I lost a lot. I appreciated that about Girls State; I enjoyed the realism in the fact that if you lost an election you could try again for another, and how that is mirrored in real government. I was lucky enough to be elected governor and that made me realize failing once doesn’t make you a failure.

During the week we were taught to have a bias for action. At Girls State, I was surrounded by driven young women with goals just as big as mine. For any of us to achieve our goals, we had to act on them, which is a principle that I feel can easily cross over into all aspects of my life. There is no harm in acting on your goals, no matter how big they are.

What I mostly appreciated about the program was the confidence that it built, not just in me. I could see it in all the girls. By the end of the week, we were comfortable speaking in front of large groups of people, and, most importantly, we learned how to represent ourselves to others. Each participant that week was truly being their best selves. I realized that even if I had put myself out there and hadn’t  gotten the desired outcome there was still opportunity for success, and, luckily, that paid off and I get to be here today as governor. I learned many intricacies of government, law, and politics at Girls State, but the overarching principle that defined the week was that the young women in Utah are capable of great things, and I’m glad I get to be a small part of that as governor.