Girls State gives Montana teens first-hand government experience

Montana American Legion's Girls State in State Capitol
Posted at 7:14 PM, Jul 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-07 21:14:36-04

HELENA — The Montana American Legion Girls State brought over 30 high school students from all over Montana to the Capital City this week.

Girls State is a mock government exercise held at the State Capitol Building, giving the students a chance to experience what life is like as a lawmaker.

One of the students, Chloe Unger, a rising senior at Lone Peak High School, was elected governor for Girls State by her peers.

She said she was honored to earn that role and mentioned one skill she learned to master so she could earn the position.

"I would say being the voice of reason. There is so many girls that I have to be in charge of, and basically keeping everyone calm and collected, but also hearing everyone's voice," said Unger.

Unger said she hopes to pursue a position similar to it in the future.

"I'm definitely interested in studying political science in college," said Unger.

Unger was unsure of Girls State originally, but she decided to give it a try when her teacher gave her a little push.

"My teacher selected me to attend Girls State, and I also had done some other work with mock trial and I had some background in the area. So when I was selected for Girl State, I was excited and ready to come learn about our government," said Unger.

She adds that since joining Girls State, she's learned a lot and has also had tons of fun.

"Ever since I got here, it's been an incredible experience," said Unger, "I love all the leadership positions that everyone is able to uphold, and it's so cool to get to meet everyone from all around the state and make a bunch of new friends, and it's been a very enjoyable experience overall."