American Legion Auxiliary selects four girls for Girls State

Daphne Yu

Photo by Daphne Yu
The American Legion Auxiliary notified four girls of their acceptance into the annual Missouri Girls State summer program, last week.
Of the nearly 25 applicants from RBHS and HHS, four from each school were chosen. They will join approximately 760 other girls June 24-30 at the University of Central Missouri.
Juniors Natalie Hiem, Hannah Hughes, Lily Qian and Annie Rumpf have the chance to spend a week designing their own government on the college campus.
Selections began when candidates participated in a group interview Feb. 8. They responded to questions ranging from their participation in activities to what would make them good participants for Girls State. While candidates such as Qian enjoyed the group interviews, others felt pressured by the people.
“I thought it made it, especially difficult that it was a group interview,” Rumpf said. “I mean, you’re not only trying to come across well and articulate your thoughts clearly; you’re kind of competing with so many other girls and kind of like trying to not necessarily outshine them but stand out. But I thought the group aspect definitely made it more difficult, and the fact that you know that they could only take four girls made it that much more nerve-wracking that you knew that you had a pretty small chance of getting in.”
Of the 24 girls who were interviewed, each knew only four would be chosen. With girls in the running all talented in many different areas from sports to academics, getting in was going to be tough, especially since the interview went smoothly overall and the panel of judges acted pleasantly toward everyone.
“I was really excited and kind of surprised [to get in] because I was going up against so many really amazing girls who also all deserved to go to Girls State,” Qian said. “They were all very intelligent, and they all were great at the interview.
Now that the four girls will be attending Girls State, they hope to take away from the experience more than just building friendships, they look anticipate learning skills that will last them a lifetime.
“I’m really looking forward to learning more about public speaking and public leadership because I’m really interested in that kind of stuff. Whatever profession I go into, it’ll definitely probably really have public speaking as an aspect, and I think this is a great way to learn more about it and just become more comfortable in front of people,” Rumpf said. “I hope to gain a lot of knowledge about our state government and our country’s government, but I think I’m gonna take a lot more away from it than just the government knowledge. … I know I’ll meet amazing people and just learn more about myself.”
By Daphne Yu
with additional reporting by Maddie Magruder