WAITSBURG – WHS senior Emily Adams was honored at a Boys and Girls State Honor Night at Town Hall on Mon, March 6. The event was hosted by the Waitsburg American Legion Post #35 and the Legion Auxiliary, which sponsor Waitsburg students each year.
Adams attended the 2016 Evergreen Girls State at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash. last June. She said she left the experience with a much better understanding of how government runs and politics works, and made many lifelong friends.
Adams said she didn't know what position to run for in the mock government, so she decided to run for Attorney General. Unfortunately, she missed passing the bar by one point, on a "trick question." Instead, Adams was elected as St. Helens County Sheriff.
Adams said she learned a great deal about how to write a bill through the mock government. She proposed a bill to make the Scared Straight Program legal in Washington State. Through the Scared Straight juvenile crime prevention program, at-risk youth go through prisons and experience prison life. Adams said her bill garnered support from the governor, but she didn't finish in time to get it passed.
"I became even more interested in this bill, and I'm thinking about carrying on and seeing if I can actually get it passed through congress," Adams said.
"Attending Girls State was a long and tiring week, but in the end, was absolutely worth it," Adams said, as she thanked Auxiliary for allowing her to go.
No boys from Waitsburg attended Boys State this year, but 2015 delegate Stuart Walsh spoke about his experience and encouraged any junior boy who was interested to take the opportunity to attend.
"I knew very little about how government works going in. I hadn't really found my political identity at the time. I learned how to sponsor bills, how to lobby, and how the senate and house work," Walsh said.
Walsh said he served as State Treasurer in the mock government, and worked with the treasurer to balance the budget.
High school juniors may apply to attend Boys and Girls State the summer before their senior year. Girls State will be held on the CWU campus June11-17. Boys State will take place at the Warm Beach Conference Center in Stanwood, Wash. on June 18-24.
High school juniors may get applications from teacher Roseann Groom at Waitsburg High School. Applications must be received by Fri., March 10 and interviews for 2017 delegates will be held Mon., March13. Parents or students with questions should direct them to Roseann Groom firstname.lastname@example.org or B.A. Keve email@example.com.