Wendy Riggle is among 30 American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) volunteers who has the honor of joining 100 high school rising seniors at the 71st American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation July 22-29 in Washington, D.C. Two outstanding citizens, known as “senators,” are selected at 50 ALA Girls State sessions held across the country to represent their respective states at ALA Girls Nation. The premier leadership conference provides aspiring young women leaders with practical insight into the workings of government, instills a sense of pride in our country, promotes youth civic engagement, and creates friendships and memories that last a lifetime.

Riggle was chosen to be a part of this year’s ALA Girls Nation staff because of her exemplary service to her community and the American Legion Auxiliary. “I am honored and excited to be a part of the 71st ALA Girls Nation,” said Riggle. “To watch these bright, young women actively learn and immerse themselves in our political process makes me proud to be an ALA member and gives me great hope for the future of our country.”

A key component of the ALA Girls Nation program involves the mock senate sessions in which the senators write, caucus, and debate bills. Campaigns are held to elect party officials and an ALA Girls Nation president and vice president. In addition to their legislative forums, the senators visit Arlington National Cemetery where they participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, tour the D.C. monuments, visit the National Holocaust Museum, and also meet with their respective state senators and representatives on Capitol Hill.

“The ALA Girls Nation experience is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young women across our nation to learn firsthand about the inner workings of the federal government before they are of voting age,” said Melanie Taylor, American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation chairman. “After attending their local ALA Girls State program and then ALA Girls Nation, the girls return home filled with knowledge, patriotism, and pride.”

Taylor, along with Riggle and other ALA volunteer leaders, will attend the conference and encourage the young senators to continue their community service by becoming members of the American Legion Auxiliary, as well as leaders in their communities and local governments.

American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) members have dedicated themselves for nearly a century to meeting the needs of our nation’s veterans, military, and their families both here and abroad. They volunteer millions of hours yearly, with a value averaging $2 billion each year. As part of the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, ALA volunteers across the country also step up to honor veterans and military through annual scholarships and with ALA Girls State programs, teaching high school juniors to be leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism. To learn more about the ALA’s mission or to volunteer, donate or join, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org.