Making a difference

Anna Schenkel, Assistant News Editor

Girls and boys are becoming the next political leaders one conference at a time. 

On Sunday, June 16, three Xavier girls went to Drake University in Des Moines for Girls State. Seniors Taylor Coester, Sarah Cunningham and Anika Munjal attended the conference, which lasted until Friday, June 21 and was sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary.

Throughout the week, girls were given the opportunity to campaign and run for different political positions. After being split into Federalist and Nationalist parties, the party’s committee decides their rules and principles. 

“I really recommend going to Girls State because it is a great opportunity to meet new girls, learn more about your government and step out of your comfort zone,” Cunningham said. 

Seniors Anika Munjal, Sarah Cunningham and Taylor Coester stand next to Governor Kim Reynolds as they pose for a photo at Girls State. Photo Submitted.

Cunningham was first given the Hanson City Police Chief role and then experienced city and county elections in order to obtain the county’s sheriff position. The girls campaigned for the city, county and state positions. 

Girls State is for young women going into their senior year, so there is only one chance for people to participate. However, there is a possibility that certain girls will be picked to go back and lead the girls involved the following year. 

Since the ultimate goal is showing girls the election process over the week, there is no preparation beforehand.

Besides meeting many new people through the program, the girls also visited with governor Kim Reynolds.

Jacob Tipton and Aidan Bostwick were both a part of Boys State, which focuses on learning the same values and skills as Girls State.

“Not only was I able to learn more about how our government works, but I was also able to network with other boys from around the state,” Bostwick said.

As another Girls and Boys State have come and gone, the goal of teaching young women and men about politics and what it takes to lead throughout their communities continue on.