American Legion Auxiliary launches 73rd annual Palmetto Girls State session



American Legion Auxiliary launches 73rd annual Palmetto Girls State session


The American Legion Auxiliary kicked off its 73rd annual Palmetto Girls State session on Sunday, June 9, hosted at Presbyterian College in Clinton. The week-long program welcomed more than 650 rising high school seniors from across the state who were selected based on the leadership skills and involvement they have shown in their respective schools and communities.

“We are thrilled to welcome the delegates of the 73rd Palmetto Girls State session,” said Florence Belser, director of Palmetto Girls State. “This program provides students with the opportunity to grow in their leadership skills and obtain firsthand experience with governmental procedures, while also forming bonds with new friends that will last a lifetime. They also have the opportunity to hear from prominent leaders from across our state.”

Throughout the week, the program will host leaders from throughout the state of South Carolina and beyond, including:

Sunday, June 9:

·      Hon. Kathy Maness, Lexington Town Council

·      Hon. GM Whitley, Mount Pleasant Town Council

Monday, June 10:

·      Hon. Robert McLean, Mayor of the Town of Clinton

·      Hon. Debra Summers, Lexington County Council

·      Hon. Dalhi Myers, Richland County Council

Tuesday, June 11

·      Sen. Katrina F. Shealy, SC Senate, Dist. 23

·      Sen. Daniel B. Verdin, III, SC Senate, Dist. 9

·      Rep. Chandra Dillard, SC House of Representatives, Dist. 23

·      Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell, SC House of Representatives, Dist. 44

·      Lou Kennedy, CEO and President of Nephron Pharmaceuticals

Wednesday, June 12

·      Hon. Aphrodite Konduros, Judge for SC Court of Appeals

·      Hon. Molly M. Spearman, SC Superintendent of Education

The week will culminate with a parade and joint inauguration of officers with The American Legion’s Palmetto Boys State on Friday, June 13 at 10:15 a.m. in downtown Columbia, ending with a ceremony at the State House.


To learn more about Palmetto Girls State and stay up to date on the status of this week’s program, visit and follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.




About Palmetto Girls State: Palmetto Girls State is a one-week leadership and citizenship training program for rising seniors in high school, created to educate outstanding high school students about state and local government and citizenship. The South Carolina Department of the American Legion Auxiliary has organized and administered the program since 1947. Throughout the week, delegates experience governmental procedure by simulating political campaigns, elections and the political process. They also learn about the principles of citizenship and public service from guest speakers, expert panels and staff members. As citizens of Palmetto Girls State, the delegates are divided into groups of about 30 called “cities.” They will create local governments, devise political party platforms and ultimately elect a Senate, a House of Representatives and state constitutional officers. Learn more about Palmetto Girls State at and following along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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