Founded in 1919, The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) is a national organization of over 600,000 members dedicated to a mission of service for veterans, military and their families. The American Legion Auxiliary has departments in all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. ALA members work together with members in the American Legion Family that include the American Legion, Sons of the American Legion and the American Legion Riders to support the military through volunteering, fundraising and advocating for congressional improvements.
In honoring veterans, one of the ALA's core values is to demonstrate and pass on respect for our country and our nation's flag. The ALA promotes patriotic youth programs, most notably the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State and Girls Nation programs, held regionally and nationally, along with education programs, contests and scholarships in local school systems.
To learn more about the American Legion Auxiliary and their programs please visit the national website at: www.alaforveterans.org
ALA Department of New Mexico
The American Legion Auxiliary Department of New Mexico was chartered June 22, 1922 with a mission to support New Mexico military and their families. Today the ALA Dept. of NM has over 3,400 members working together through 41 units throughout the state helping support local NM communities, veterans and military families. The members volunteer their time supporting the VA (Veterans Affairs Hospitals), raising funds for New Mexico military programs including the New Mexico Fisher House, and organizing educational efforts within local schools and the American Legion Auxiliary New Mexico Girls State program that teaches High School Junior young women about government in a hands on learning environment.
To learn more about the American Legion Auxiliary Department of New Mexico and find a local ALA Unit in your area check out: www.facebook.com/AmericanLegionAuxiliaryNM
The American Legion Auxiliary’s marquee Girls State program, first presented in 1937, is one of the most respected and coveted experiential learning programs presented in the United States.
The program epitomizes the ALA’s mission to honor those who have brought us our freedom through our enduring commitment to develop young women as future leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism. The young women become knowledgeable of the democratic process and how our republic form of government works at the city, county and state levels.
Each summer, approximately 16,000 young women participate in weeklong ALA Girls State programs across the nation. Every American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program operates with the same patriotic values through a nonpartisan curriculum where students assume the roles of government leaders, campaigning in mock parties (often called “Federalists” and “Nationalists”) to become city, county, and state officials of their ALA Girls State. The program is a weeklong immersive learning experience, often held on a college campus where girls live in “cities” within a dormitory-like setting. The learning, experience, memories, and friendships last a lifetime.
Young men interested in the opportunity to learn about government through a program like ALA Girls State are able to attend the corresponding American Legion Boys State program available in each state. To learn more about the American Legion New Mexico Boys State program please visit their website: www.nmboysstate.org
New Mexico Girls State
The American Legion Auxiliary Department of New Mexico organized the first session of ALA NM Girls State May 23-28, 1948 on the campus of Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico. 125 young women from across the state attended this first session to learn about government during this hands-on, non-partisan program. During the inaugural session Teresa Viramontes, from Las Cruces Union High School, was elected as the first ALA NM Girls State Governor. Director Josephine Koogler of the American Legion Auxiliary organized this first session and went on to direct 2 additional sessions of ALA NM Girls State.
To see more history and pictures from ALA NM Girls State sessions visit our Session Gallery.
With over 70 years of ALA NM Girls State, our program is now held on the Eastern New Mexico University campus in Portales, NM where 125 young women still have the opportunity to learn leadership, explore how city, county and state government works and participate in service for the New Mexico community through our non-partisan program.
ALA NM Girls State (ALANMGS) is organized on the state level by a board of ALA members overseen by the ALA Dept. of NM Executive Committee. The ALANMGS Board members work throughout the year in conjunction with local ALA unit chairmen to promote the program, fundraise, and organize each year's session. Many of the board members also volunteer as staff during the week of ALANMGS.
American Legion Auxiliary New Mexico Girls State Board
Why should you attend ALA NM Girls State?
DEVELOP LEADERSHIP SKILLS
PARTICIPATE IN SERVICE FOR THE COMMUNITY
GET HANDS ON WITH GOVERNMENT
EARN COLLEGE CREDITS
ELIGIBLE FOR EXCLUSIVE ALANMGS
"A quality education has the power to transform societies in a single generation and give them the knowledge, skills, and confidence to reach their full potential." - Audrey Hepburn
Who is Eligible to Attend?
New Mexico young women interested in attending must:
Have completed their junior year in high school and have at least one semester remaining before graduation.
Be keenly interested in government and current events.
Have high moral character.
Show strong leadership abilities.
Demonstrate above-average scholastic achievement.
2021 American Legion Auxiliary
New Mexico Girls State
Sunday, June 6 - Friday, June 11, 2021
Check-in will be held from 10 am - 1 pm on Sunday, June 6.
Check-out will be on Friday, June 11 from 11 am - 1 pm.
ALA NM Girls State is held at the Eastern New Mexico University Campus in Portales, New Mexico. Delegates will be housed in the Eddy Hall dorms and meetings held in the Campus Union Building (CUB) throughout the week.