American Legion Auxiliary Missouri Girls State (ALA MGS) was first established in 1940 as one of 11 ALA Girls State programs in the nation. The first session was held at William Woods University (then College), Fulton, in the summer of 1940 under the direction of Lutie Long Smith. There were 213 citizens in attendance the first year and Juanita Curry was elected Governor. The citizens were divided into 3 counties -- Scott, Price, and Barton; and there were six cities -- Pershing, Koontz, Boone, Crowder, Lewis, and Clark. MGS was located at William Woods for 17 sessions, with no sessions held in 1943 and 1945 due to war. Following a fire at the college in 1959, MGS transferred to Christian College, Columbia, in 1960. In 1961, the program moved to Stephens College, Columbia, due to the need for a larger facility. The program returned again to William Woods University in 1976, where it remained until 1998 when it moved to Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg (now University of Central Missouri).
In 2019, ALA MGS had 740 citizens in 7 counties and 21 cities. Our cities and counties are named after famous or important people to the American Legion Auxiliary and the State of Missouri or those individuals who have contributed in some way to the success of the ALA Missouri Girls State program.
The American Legion Auxiliary Missouri Girls State program was unable to hold their session in 2020 due to the COVID-19. pandemic.
Eligibility Criteria: Delegates to ALA Missouri Girls State are chosen by an interview and application procedure. Information about 2021 ALA Missouri Girls State was made available on our website after January 1st due to ongoing decisions for the combined junior/senior 2021 session.
ALA MGS delegates are girls who attend high school in Missouri and have just completed their junior year. Candidates are evaluated on their leadership abilities, interest in government, service to others, and academics. Speech and debate experiences are also beneficial, but not necessary.
For more information contact your high school counselor or the local American Legion Auxiliary Unit.
If you have additional questions regarding American Legion Auxiliary Missouri Girls State, please call Linda Schaap, Director of Admissions at (816) 358-4541, or e-mail the director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As there are 200+ American Legion Auxiliary units throughout Missouri and approximately 750 girls are chosen to attend MGS, the selection methods vary based on logistics, circumstances and established local procedures. Some selected delegates are long-standing Junior Members of an Auxiliary Unit (female members under age of 18) who meet the qualifications, while others are chosen by school personnel with names forwarded to local units. Some potential delegates' names are forwarded by schools to local units who then interview the list and make the selection based on the interviews. Any girl interested in attending ALA Missouri Girls State should begin by contacting their school counselor.