Girls State teaches roles of government

ALLIANCE – Senior girls from area schools once again got a chance to experience first hand what it is like to run the government during the 2014 Buckeye Girls State.

The program is sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary of Ohio. For a week, girls that finished their junior year of high school were placed on the campus of the University of Mount Union to learn the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of good citizenship.

This year, 19 young women from the area were chosen as delegates to attend the program.

Caitlin Sauers of Republic attends Seneca East High School and served as a city school board member for Rice City, a fictional city in the mock government program in which attendees participated. Sauers was on the board with 20 other members representing the governments of other fictional cities.

During the week, Sauers worked with others to establish budgets for building a school, including salaries for teachers and staff, utilities, curriculum and extra curricular activities.

“I have gotten the chance to understand more about the many different government positions there are and the process of being elected,” Sauers said. “There are a lot of things to get done to make the decisions that can affect the schools.”

“The whole experience has been great overall,” she added. “It has been fun working within my city. At first I was nervous about living with other girls, but is has been a great time and now I have 36 new friends.”

Leah Reinhart of Fostoria, from Hopewell-Loudon Local Schools, said she also had a enjoyed the program.

“There have been highs and lows,” Reinhart said. “I work in the county as a commissioner (of fictional Balzhiser County) and I have learned more about the government than I would have ever learned because of the hands-on experience.”

In her position, Reinhart worked with budgets, taxes, raising money for the county, and creating a special project.

The project she and her team created is an “imaginary” environmental fair that is to help raise awareness about protecting the environment throughout the county.

“I have learned that I can do more than I have ever thought I can do,” Reinhart said. “It takes a lot of hard work, but it means to make it