Only two high school juniors are chosen annually from each state to go to Girls Nation. This year, both Arizona delegates live in the East Valley.
Through the program, which is sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, Lu Wang, a senior at Gilbert’s Mesquite High School, and Arthi Satyanarayan, a senior at Chandler’s Hamilton High School, spent a week in Washington, D.C., over the summer with girls from all over the country, learning about how the U.S. government operates.
“In that week, they led us through how laws are made (and) how the president and members of the House and Senate are elected,” Wang said.
The girls were required to bring and debate prepared legislation.
They also went on tours of the area, visiting memorials and learning the proper way to fold a flag and how to pay respect during the national anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Wang, who participates in Academic Decathlon, orchestra and the National Honor Society, had never given much thought to politics prior to going to Girls State, and then Girls Nation.
Wang said she doesn’t want to go into politics as a career, but she learned how she can become involved in government at the local level.
In addition, Wang said she developed close ties with the other girls.
Satyanarayan participates on her school’s speech and debate team, the Model
U.N. Team and the We the People Team, a competitive government program.
She also does psychology research at Arizona State University and plays concert piano and violin.
She said she’s always been interested in politics and community involvement. She’s also interested in medicine, and her eventual goal is to become the U.S. surgeon general.
“It was my first time in Washington, D.C., and the amount of power and decision-making that occurs in Capitol Hill was aweinspiring for me and opened a door for me for what I could do for my future,” she said.
Satyanarayan said it was a humbling experience to be among 95 of the nation’s smartest female high school students. She enjoyed making new friends from diverse cultures and experiences.
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