STA's Caroline Watts represents LA at national Girls' State Conference
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STA's Caroline Watts represents LA at national Girls' State Conference

Conference members meet President Obama

Louisiana Girls State announced that Caroline Watts, the daughter of John Watts of Hammond, and a senior at STA was one of only 98 young women who attended the 67th American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation July 20-27 in Washington, D.C.


Watts was chosen as one of the two outstanding citizens, known as "senators," selected at the Louisiana Girls State 73rd Session held June 23-29 at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.  She attended the Louisiana Girls State Session through the sponsorship of Tucker A. Gregoire American Legion Auxiliary Unit 258.

Watts won the honor to be a Girls Nation Senator based on her application essay and written legislation to mandate aerobic exercise as a required physical education class for all elementary school children. The basis of Watts' debate was that many children are obese which is causing a lifetime of health problems.  She believes that nutrition alone will not solve the problem and that children not involved in athletics are often left out of the physical education equation. She said, "forty-five minutes of aerobics each week could make a drastic reduction in youth obesity and additionally increase academic performance levels."

For 67 years, the American Legion Auxiliary has provided young women with a citizenship training program that is second to none - ALA Girls Nation. This unique experience, held every summer in the nation's capital, is designed to provide practical insight into how the federal government works, to instill a sense of pride and loyalty to America, and create friendships and memories that last a lifetime.

In addition to their legislative forums, the senators hear distinguished guest speakers and visit the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, the White House, and other memorials in the Washington, D.C. area.  Their visit to Capitol Hill includes meetings with their respective senators and representatives. A highlight of the week is the opportunity to meet the President of the United States.

Since 1947, more than 6,000 politically astute young women have attended Girls Nation. For many the experience is the beginning of a lifetime of government service. For all, it is an experience that allows them to gain a firsthand perspective on democracy, develop leadership skills, and create the foundation for the responsible citizenship.
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