May 7, 2017 – Palmetto Bay, Florida – American Legion Post 133 in Palmetto Bay hosted the orientation briefing on Sunday, May 7, 2017.

The American Legion Women’s Auxiliary conducted the meeting to inform this year’s delegates, alternates and their parents about what to expect during the trip to Tallahassee and the week’s visit to the state capital.

Irene Lathrop, a Girls State Staff member and Girls State chair for Unit 36, was the orientation presenter, addressing the group and going through the list of forms that needed to be completed. She also offered travel tips and explained the ground rules.

Stacy Cusano, president of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 133, participated with other members.

The Florida Girls State program is designed to instill an understanding of the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship and public service.

Each year 300 young women have a chance to learn about America’s democratic form of government through first-hand experience.

This year’s delegates for the Girls State are juniors from Coral Reef Senior High School, are and their respective academy: Elaine Melgareja (International Baccalaureate), Jane Perez (Legal) and Leyana Williams (Business & Finance).

The delegates will arrive at Post 133 very early in the morning of June 7 to board busses that will take them to Tallahassee on a nine-day trip.

There will be more than 35 staff members and six State Troopers accompanying the girls at all times, and they will stay in dormitories on the campus of Florida State University.

The students will form their own city governments, run for office, write bills and attend actual meetings in the State Capitol to observe how things work.

Besides the activities in Tallahassee, the delegates will have a chance to compete for several scholarships that will help with college costs. They will return on June 15.

Girls State 2017

Photo left to right: Jane Perez, Leyana Williams and Elaine Melgareja.