MADISON, NY - Two students from Madison Central School have received the honor of being accepted into one of America’s most prestigious civic education programs. The Madison/Morrisville American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 1556, has announced that Madison Central School juniors Mackenzie Cotter and Camryn Parmon have been chosen for participation in the Department of New York’s Empire Girls State program for 2023.
Cotter, of Oriskany Falls, has been selected to represent Madison as a delegate. She is the daughter of Roxanne and William.
Parmon, also of Oriskany Falls, has been chosen as the alternate delegate for Madison. She is the daughter of Blaine and Chris.
Empire Girls State is a hands-on week-long educational/leadership workshop focusing on Americanism and the political process. It is sponsored by the New York State American Legion Auxiliary. The goal of the program is to help students better understand democratic ideals and the part we as individual citizens play in carrying out these ideals. This program, which has been accredited by the National College Credit Recommendation Service (National CCRS), is a non-partisan endeavor to teach high school junior girls about government, politics, leadership, teamwork, and Americanism.
Over the course of the week, the students will be tasked with creating a mock state government, representing a fictional 51st state, from the ground up. While learning about their role in democracy, students have the chance to build leadership and communication skills, including how parliamentary procedure works.
Getting into the program is challenging. Less than 400 girls are selected state-wide to attend Empire Girls State, and only 9 are selected from Madison County. Successful applicants must meet the following criteria outlined by the organization.
1. Be a young woman completing her junior year of high school.
2. Be in the top ⅓ of their class ranking academically.
3. Be of high moral character, have leadership abilities and take pride in America.
4. Have an interest in government, the political process, and how a democratic society works.
“The selection process is extremely competitive,” Unit 1556 President Betsy Gips said in the organization’s release. “There are many exceptional young women in our districts. The decision was difficult, but we are excited to empower these young women by sending them to this prestigious program.”
Participation at the state level also makes attendees eligible to serve as one of two New York State representatives in the Girls Nation program held in Washington DC. Representatives will be selected at Girls State.
The Girls State program runs from July 2nd through July 8th on the campus of the State University of New York’s College at Brockport.