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News Reports - 2018 ALA NM Girls State

Experience the 2018 ALA NM Girls State session through the stories of our city reporters. They've shared their daily adventures during the week and we hope you will enjoy getting a deeper insight into a delegate's day at ALANMGS!

Mel Reyna
Pine City Reporter

Samantha Davis
Cactus City Reporter

Aisis Hernandez
Cedar City Reporter

Kacie Morelos
Spruce City Reporter

Isabel Tomingas
Pine City Photographer

Brooke Fleming
Cactus City Photographer

Sierra Jewell
Cedar City Photographer

Alanna Greenwell
Spruce City Photographer


Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday


Sunday, June 3

Jun. 3rd, 2018
First Day of ALANMGS

My expectations for the week is getting a better understanding of how the state government works. I was nervous when I arrived, but the program has many great reviews that the nervousness turned into excitement. I hope to build myself as a better person by becoming more confident and standing for what I believe in. What I’m most excited to learn this week is how bills/resolutions/memorial projects are passed, I wonder what great idea will be the winner! Meeting new people from my city and others was a great experience, everyone is so friendly, maybe because the sweetest and greatest people are the future leaders of not only New Mexico, but the whole world! Pine City’s scenario is Health Advisory ; Quarantine In Effect! which means our water supply is unsafe to drink. Pine City plans to resolve our problem are to find the source of the contamination and offer many ways to supply the city with safe drinkable water.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, You Are A Leader!” - John Quincy Adams

Melissa Reyna
Pine City Reporter

Kacie Morelos
ALA NM Girl’s State Reflection
June 3, 2018

Surprisingly, this week has started off pretty well. Even though it’s still only the first day, I already care about others around me. People in my city, Spruce City that is, are extremely likable and caring. We’re all new to this, so we find comfort in one another and that makes a bond that is almost unbreakable. I truthfully expected stuck up, rude and obnoxious girls to roam these halls. That was the main reason why I almost decided not to come here. Boy am I glad I gave this place a chance. I expect for us to grow and learn with one another through the week, even if its something as simple as learning each other’s names and faces. The amazing opportunities here are almost limitless. Theres something to make everyone happy here; art projects, socializing, and even ice cream! I hope to find other ways to find happiness.

Being a very shy person, I’m not the easiest to hold conversation with. I hope to finally burst free of my own limitations, and actually talk to others, maybe even make a lifelong friend. The other girls here are all very sweet and understanding. At tonight’s nightly reflections, one of my fellow citizens expressed her happiness in one of the nicest ways possible, she said she loved all of us. After just one day! And I truthfully believe this wasn’t an exaggeration. Even our Junior Counselors are amazingly sweet and extremely helpful and understanding. They truthfully care for us and notice when some of us are kind of out of it, or just don’t feel very engaged. They help us and encourage us to step up, and make our voice heard. I’m most excited to see who wins the first voting campaign tomorrow, I’d never think I’d do this, but I'm running in this one, as a candidate for a position among the City Counsel Women. This first day has been great, an already life changing experience that has encouraged me to be like a dog at a park, leaving their mark everywhere they go.

Signing off for today,

Kacie Morelos

June 3 Sunday Report
Samantha Davis and Brooke Fleming
Cactus City

My first day was full of anxiety and new faces that I guarantee that I will remember forever. I came to ALA Girls State expecting a good experience when in fact I got something much more. I had gotten growth. I had stepped out of my comfort zone completely and I do not regret it. The experience of jumping into a shart tank, and learning something completely new is something that words cannot explain the importance of this growth. Sunday afternoon was an overall kickstart from nervousness and anxiety to excitement. I will go to bed with great expectations.

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Monday, June 4

Jun. 4th, 2018
Day 2

As an AFJROTC cadet, I have great respect for our fallen servicemen and current servicemen. The Poppy Presentation gave me a deeper meaning of what exactly these young men went through during World War 1, World War 2, and The Vietnam War. My favorite city ordinance that I heard within my city was having a non-citizen of Pine City hop on one foot and shut one eye as they hang their campaigns. I believe ordinances are important because it brings it the personality of the city as a whole and it’s also a memory to remember in the near future. The most interesting topic I learned about the American Flag was the meaning between each fold. Community Forum was my FAVORITE part of the day, hearing different sides of why a bill should be passed or not. 3 College Credit Hours from ENMU is a GREAT opportunity. We basically get 3 college hours for having a GREAT time at Girl’s State! ALA Girl’s Nation seems like a very great opportunity to advance into the next level of government and understand how our nation works. I wonder who the two beautiful young women will be!! Today, we voted for our City Offcials and it was an interesting experience, the importance is to support the people who will put great effort to help out the city and with no votes, how will the job be done?

“Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” - John Maxwell

Melissa Reyna
Pine City Reporter

Kacie Morelos
ALA NM Girl’s State Reflection
June 4, 2018

They don’t lie when they say this week is going to be intensive. Today felt like 2, no 3 days all rolled into one. So many activities, so many goals and things to do. Starting with the “For God and Country” Ceremony, we put our teamwork to the test and cheered as loudly as we could, but it clearly wasn’t loud enough, we got last place. This, however, only encouraged us to try even harder next time. After breakfast we took part in the Smartie Trivia Competition. You wouldn’t believe how handy random facts and knowledge are when you’re all fighting for candy. And, by some miracle, we actually won! Yay! Are you proud mom? Anyway, after that whole lesson about not giving up and triumph, we moved on to our presentations.

Presentations in the Ball Room are truly moving. They really reach the heart and make you tear up, which is really saying something because I only have ever cried during animal death scenes. One particular presentation that really taught me a lot and got me all teary eyed was the Poppy Presentation, overall it was amazing and gave the history about the symbolism behind the popular flower, the Poppy. Did you know the poppy represents and Hope, renewal, and sacrifice? Yeah, I didn’t either, at least not until this moving presentation showed me so much I didn’t know about war and the beautiful terror behind it. Another one of the presentations was the American Flag History presentation. There’s so much thought and detail that went into the American Flag, and clearly so much history. There’s even a special way to fold said flag, theres 13 steps and each stands for a value or a symbol. Before this, patriotism wasn’t really a big subject that was really mentioned or mattered much in my life, but already this program and series of presentations have changed my outlook and perception of the sacrifice that is given by people that fight for our freedom daily.

Theres honestly so much we did today, from speech giving, to voting and city ordinances. We did it all, in only one day.  This week has already been worth it.

Aisis Hernandez
Cedar City Report

Monday, June,4, 2018

Today was a wonderfully long day and, not over for many of us. A lot of us will be up late tonight campaigning and writing speeches for tomorrow's elections. Including myself! I will probably be up writing this article and then a speech after this!

I was moved to tears very early in the morning listening to the meaning of the flag and its importance to our country and the people who have sacrificed everything for it. I have always had a huge appreciation for our flag and a love for those stars and stripes. I was overwhelmed by emotions and pride was again during the Poppy presentation. I was just so honored to be in this country and have people who will and have fought with everything to protect my rights and freedoms.

Monday, June 4

The morning began with the city candidates giving their speeches. We started work and planning for the mayor's conference after. We went to a group meeting in the Cub. In this meeting we were told about the poppies of Flander's Fields. My impression of this ceremony was astonished and felt a sense of connection with the poppies. As the big group meeting they also explained ALA Girls Nation peaking the interest of a few girls wanting to participate. Then at the end of the meeting they announced city election results. After the results we were split back into our separate cities where we talked about ordinances. We brainstormed ideas about what we would have as ours that applied to other cities campaigning. After that we had our nightly city meeting. Then some of us prepared for their speeches for the next day. 

Samantha Davis, Cactus City

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Tuesday, June 5

Jun. 5th, 2018
Day 3 of ALANMGS

Today I ran for State Senator. What I learned from the process is how there are times when you win by default and others have to compete to get what they want. The discussion of the legislation committees were very interesting to learn about. It not only gives the girls opportunities to meet other girls from different counties but gives people the chance to have their voice heard among people of their same party which in the end, turns into a HUGE support group. The Whistlestop campaign presentation was very interesting and it sounds like so much fun! I had no idea that our current president used the same campaign that started in the 1800s. My party of Nationalists consists of a group of beautiful young ladies who are determined to bring the best candidates to be the future leader’s of Girl’s State! GO NATS!

“The effective leader recognizes that they are more dependent on their people than they are on them. Walk Softly.” - Brian Tracy

Melissa Reyna
Pine City Repoter

Kacie Morelos
ALA NM Girl’s State Reflection
June 5, 2018

In the past few busy days that I’ve been here, I’ve done so much. Never before have I done 3 speeches in three days, and miraculously while doing this third speech for my campaign for election to the House of Representatives, the fear I felt before gradually faded away. Fear that everyone was just ignoring me and no one cared, or even worse they cared too much and were criticizing every word I said, it all kinda left my body. When I looked out into the crowd I saw nothing but gleaming eyes, attentive postures, and caring expressions. They helped me. People I’ve only known for a few days, at best, helped me. That’s an amazing experience to me because I’ve always seen girls as more trouble than their friendship is worth. But meeting such amazing ladies that help me every step I take in a better direction has completely changed my perspective on an entire gender.

The talent show was another inspiration for me, every person that walked out onto that stage took the time and effort to make something of themselves in that moment. They displayed amazing qualities such as intense and intricate dances that didn’t involve instrumental music, but rather music they made with their movements. Another girl walked up and sang an amazing and empowering song that reflects many of our thoughts about loneliness and growing out of people. Others made skits that had no real meaning but still made us laugh, and the final act was something that’ll probably stick with me for all eternity.

Finally, the last thing we learned about today was the tradition and origins of “Whistlestop Campaigning.” Whistlestop is a part of the electoral process here at Girl’s State that helps citizens decide on which Governor candidate is the best choice for their needs and wants, this campaigning technique also has relevancy in the real world and has even been used for our most recent election. Today, we learned that Whistlestop Campaigning was used as the best form for getting ideas out to the public before television existed. Candidates went around hopping trains from town to town, spreading their ideas and message as they went as efficiently as possible.

Unfortunately, its getting kind of late, so I’ll have to end Spruce City’s daily report here for today. Signing off for now,

Kacie Morelos

Aisis Hernandez
Cedar City
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The girls at ALA continue to amaze and really inspire me. Today we were separated into our parties and it was absolutely fantastic to be able to finally collaborate with a larger variety of girls. They all had such impactful, original ideas that they felt strongly about. And although hectic and stressful at times we were able to come together as the federalist party and ultimately lift each other up and figure everything out together, something we were proud of, and all more or less agreed on. I was especially in love with our platform. It was fairly easy to decide our main concerns.

Education was at the top of the list for most of the delegates, and that was easily transferable to our Platform Committee. The platform committee was by far my favorite part of the day, the girls I worked with in that committee were beyond bright, and so well spoken.   Even more importantly they were passionate in such a way that the energy and vibe of the committee was almost electrifying. We were all very knowledgeable about everything we discussed; the ideas were solid and easily backed up it was another amazing opportunity to be reminded of all the real potential and exceedingly awesome minds we so often forget that belong to New Mexico.

Our decisions for our party platform are truly amazing ideas that would significantly honor and improve the state we all care so much for, because it is our home and always will be.

One of the girls mentioned that our youth was only approximately 38% of our population, but 100% of our future; and if there are even a few more kids in this state like the ones I have gotten the privilege to work closely with all day, I am extremely excited for the future.

Samantha Davis
Cactus City Daily Report

Tuesday June 5th at ALA New Mexico Girls state

Started off rough as I was exhausted from staying up the night writing my campaign speech for district attorney. After the day began, we split into our counties (Washington and Lincoln). During the meetings we gave our speeches and listened to the speeches of the other girls. We soon realized there were many positions open due to a lack of candidates. The delegates who had no interest in running were persuaded by the counselors. The girls had to write last minute speeches, but it was worth it and they felt accomplished once they returned to the dorms. These wonderful ladies stepped out of their comfort zones and faced their fears by running for a position here at Girls State. As the day continued, everyone’s nerves were sky high as the announcement of the results got closer. We watched the talent show anxiously, trying to distract our minds. The time was here, the results were being announced. I was excited, relieved, and felt very prideful as my name was called for District Attorney. My fellow Cacti felt the same way as they received the positions they ran for. With the day finally coming to a close with our daily meeting, I have a long night ahead of me, writing another speech. I will let you know how that goes tomorrow.

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Wednesday, June 6

Jun. 6th, 2018
Day 4 of ALANMGS

Party Rallies today!! As part of the Nationalist party, we decided to have. a boxing match of our candidates fighting the issues we are struggling with which are Veterans Affairs which should give veterans easier access to healthcare, Education which should give higher pay to teachers so they can invest in the future generations better. Lastly Public Health and Saftey by increasing the number of nurses as New Mexico lacks and provide more educational and training programs for our State Law Enforcement. The candidates on the Federalist were great! On behalf of the delegates, we can all agree that the election experiences have taught us all the importance on voting for our candidates to improve the state. The importance on volunteering is not only giving yourself a good pat on the back, but you are helping someone else have a better life or simply a hand to get back up. Many people appreciate the volunteers for their countless hours of helping their community. My impressions of the community forum today were very interesting. It’s great to hear two different views of a topic. The Mayor’s Conference was the highlight of our day. Pine City means the world to me, not only are we a group of beautiful young ladies, but we also strive for excellence as we have a Lt. Governor and 2 finalist for ALA Girl’s Nation! What I learned about the American Legion Auxiliary is the group is actually ran by strong women who come from Veterans families. The Parli Pro is a system used in a session as a way to properly address bills and address the governor correctly. I believe it is important because it keeps order in the session without a chaos of everyone trying to input their opinion or completely ignore the governor and make their own decisions.

“Remember the difference between a boss and a leader ; a boss says “Go!” a leader says “Let’s Go!” ”    - E.M. Kelly

Melissa Reyna
Pine City Reporter

Kacie Morelos
ALA NM Girl’s State Reflection
June 6, 2018

Today was a slower day, which isn’t a complaint, because we honestly needed one of those. But we had so much fun, Party Rallies, Mayor Conference, and Whistlestop Campaign. Were all so fun and a great experience to go through. Party Rallies were basically shows to encourage candidates to vote for your party and get them interested in your ideas and values. Mayors Conference was a display of a City’s hard work and what they had accomplished as a team, city and family. Both “Shows” were fun and interesting, and overall fun.

The Community Forum was an opportunity for our voices and opinions to be heard. Everyone had an opinion and was intently listening to everyone that spoke their opinions. It was amazing, seeing a room full of smart and respecting women, truly a good experience. We discussed topics ranging from internet issues to real laws that were repealed. We also did some charity work, decorating cards for children and making blankets for the homeless. It was amazing, and so enlightening.

Lastly, today we learned about Parli Pro, or Parliament Procedure, an efficient and professional form of communication that can be used during discussions and debates that get the jobs done. Today we did so much good, and learned so much. I’m truly proud.

Aisis Hernandez
Cedar City article
Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Party Rallies were held today; and this was my first chance to hear from the opposing candidates and even the real passions of my own candidates, both who had even been in my city! The Party Rallies were hilariously fun and a great way to get everyone involved, although a tad hectic, with no time to practice today, the pros heavily overpowered the cons. The best part I felt was getting to hear the Lt. Governor and Governor candidates speeches. We really, really got to see what they felt most passionate about, and their own specific qualities; because even though our Platform Committee was able to come up with ideas and broad topics we wanted our Party to stand for we hadn’t gotten the chance to hear exactly what they wanted to say. And I was thrilled about most of the ideas and I believe most of the delegates felt the same. I also loved that the two parties had similar ideas, because that means there are huge problems in New Mexico that all of these bright women are noticing and trying hard to come up with solutions that will last.

Samantha Davis
Cactus City

Wednesday June 6th

Today, on the 4th day of attending ALA Girls State the Nationalist and Federalist parties performed their rallies to help their campaigns and allow the state positions to obtain votes from members of the other party. After the rallies , the candidates for governor and lieutenant governor participated in whistle stop campaigning to answer a variety of questions which all four cities had prepared the night before. Following the agenda, the delegates participated in service projects which included making birthday cards, blankets, and children's games. Mayors gathered their citizens to prepare them for the annual mayors conference. Each city put on a humorous which presented the flag, seal, songs, and cheer for the city. After the mayors conference, election results were announced, starting with county positions, leading to lieutenant governor and governor (congratulations to Jocelyn Debonis, our new lieutenant governor and Trinity Shipley, our new governor)

We ended the night with daily city reflections, then our city planned our ceremony for Thursday morning.

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Thursday, June 7

Jun. 7th, 2018
Day 5 of ALANMGS

ALA Girls Nation Press Conference was a success. The Finalist were very confident in their answers and it was a great experience to have all of the city reporters act like actual reporters! The most interesting piece of legislation I heard today was adding a 10¢ tax on groceries for every plastic bag that is used. It will get more people to buy reusable bags. The Senate court was on fire with the debating and the constant changing of bills that needed a few more details to be perfect. My overall favorite guest of the week was today’s guest as she helped with the oath of offices which was an interesting and fun path to take part of! My impressions of the banquet was it was very formal and seeing everyone dressed up in their best and recognize the real reason why we are strong women was beautiful. I recorded the candlelight song and the speech was beautiful.

“Leadership is practiced not so much in words but as in attitude and in actions.” - Harold S. Geneen

Melissa Reyna
Pine City Reporter

Aisis Hernandez
Cedar city

Thursday June 7 2018

I felt the tears stinging my eyes all throughout today. A bittersweet mix of tears.

Some I cried and some I tried very hard not too. It was our last night together, and I wouldn't be surprised if I cry writing this now. I can hear my city laughing and joking right outside my door. And I can tell you it is an extremely comforting chaotic mix of wheezing and screeching, in the best way possible of course, but sitting through the banquet I remembered tonight was my last chance to hear all of the lovely girls I have fallen in love with, screeching together. Besides my realizing how much I will miss this week; I was overwhelmed with pride and even more love for not only my wonderful overlooked state, but my country as well. This beautiful land that so many people have lost and died for. This country that I love so much. I felt burdened thinking about the kids at home, and the way they detest patriotism. But then I was surrounded with the best girls New Mexico had to offer, men and women who would never take our God given freedoms, because they realize that these freedoms were earned, just like I did.

Tonight we laughed, we cried, and we celebrated our new governor, each other, our beautiful state, and our ravishing refined Country and the people who sacrificedand suffered for it. God bless America.

June 7th Thursday

Today was the last full day of Girls State.We had a lot planned with state action day and had many experiences with both courts and session leading up to the glorious Girls State banquet. With all the delegates and staff dressed in their best we celebrated our wonderful week of learning and growth. We finished off the banquet with a candle ceremony and the performance fo the song America America sung by all the delegates. As the girls head back to their dorm for the final city meeting and night together, they began to reminisce the last moments had together.

Samantha Davis, Cactus

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Friday, June 8

Jun. 8th, 2018
Last Day of ALANMGS

Wow! I can’t believe we are all going our separate ways. But I know each and every one of us will go back home and show our community what strong, powerful women we are and have become by this week. My favorite memory of the week was the Mayor’s Conference because not only did we get to meet each city, we got to see the city’s personalities as one and that was beautiful. What I learned this week was no one has the power to control what you want to do but yourself. You, yourself, are the worst barrier you can have. Fight and Dream for what you want! I plan to become an active citizen in my community by taking charge of my AFJROTC program and show them the leadership skills I hid and actually make the community service projects HAPPEN instead of brain storming all year. I am very happy I got to spend my week with these beautiful women! I can’t wait to see what you guys will achieve in life. WE LOVE YOU ALANMGS 2018!!!

“There are friendships imprinted in our hearts that will never be diminished by time and by distance.” - Unknown

Melissa Reyna
2018 Pine City Reporter


Brooke Fleming
Cactus city

Today, Friday June 8th, ALA Girls State comes to an end. My favorite memory of this week was the talent show. This event allowed us to laugh, be together, and let out some of the stress that had built up over the week. I have learned a lot about myself this week, for example, I learned that I love public speaking, although it may not be in the political world, it is a skill I did not know I had. I will take this experience back to my community and give the support I received here to all the girls in Raton and help them believe in themselves, just like this experience and all these wonderful ladies did for me.

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Created by Cedar City Photographer Sierra Jewell
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