With arrival day behind them, the Citizens and staff gathered bright and early for a special speaker series. We were honored to hear welcoming words from Dr. Debbie Cottrell, President of Texas Lutheran University. She reminded the girls that someone sent them to Texas Girls State because they saw potential in them and believed that they would benefit from the program. "You will all go home a better person, more prepared to be part of the important process of civic engagement and informed democracy."
Honorable Donna Dodgen Mayor of Seguin, explained that "there were people in my family that thought I was fine on the City Council, but told me that a woman shouldn't be the Mayor" and that she was dedicated to proving them wrong. Between her elected office, the ever-increasing number of women in politics, and the nearly-600 brilliant women on campus this week, we are certainly disproving that belief. Commander Gerry (Geraldine) Hince of the American Legion Department of Texas, doubled down on this message, sharing valuable wisdom and guidance rooted in her own experience and empowering the Citizens to make the most of this week.
Myra Cooper, President of the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Texas closed out the speaker series, emphasizing the importance of civic engagement, service, and the value that the Texas Bluebonnet Girls State program has on their organizations and communities.
After the opening assembly, the Citizens headed back to their cities to craft their city charters, and start filing for city offices. They learned more about the legislative process from our Presiding Officers, and had the opportunity to dive into their first legislative sessions. Whether they are Nats or Feds, in the House or the Senate, everyone was engaged and eager to learn more about starting their own form of government in this 79th session.
Keep your eyes on the Bluebonnet for more updates, especially with Party Day up next!