Three girls posing for camera
Pictured above are the Girls' State citizens and the alternate. From left: Ryleigh Rapp, Abigail Opalinski and Emma Ljiljanich.

Lessons in leadership and patriotism are the order of the day, thanks to the American Legion Auxiliary.

The organization sponsors the Girls’ State program. Last year and this summer, the organization had to improvise due to COVID-19. The weeklong event will take place in July via virtual meetings, videos calls, articles and videos to mention just a few methods of creative communication. The Girls’ State Citizens will learn about our government and our constitution.

Tonawanda High School student participants will meet other students from across New York State. The students will gain confidence in their roles, duties and responsibilities as citizens in the United States of America.

The faculty chose the nominees on the basis of outstanding qualities of leadership, patriotism, scholarship and maturity. Just being nominated is an honor and a tribute to the students. An interview process conducted by members of the American Legion Auxiliary chose the finalists.

Tonawanda High School proudly announces this year’s Girls’ State citizens are Abigail Opalinski, who will be sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary Tonawanda Unit No. 264, and Emma Ljiljanich, who will be sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary John J. Welch Unit No. 381. Ryleigh Rapp is the Girls’ State alternate, sponsored by the Tonawanda Unit. These ladies are in for an educational experience they will never forget and they will cherish forever.