The citizens of Cornhusker Girls State did it. They finally made it to Friday. Through a gas-leak evacuation to doing pull-ups at the Nebraska National Guard, these delegates have seen it all and are more than prepared to graduate tomorrow morning. When they arrived on Sunday afternoon, the delegates had little to no idea what an impact this week would have on them. Tomorrow they will walk across the stage and grab the diploma beaming with the pride and confidence Girls State gave them.
Friday morning kicked off with session at the Nebraska Union where the 11 Girls Nation Candidates were announced and sent off to be interviewed. The remaining girls stayed to run through the Girls State songs and watch the mock trial performed by the District Court with the help of Attorney Jennifer Tomka from Boucher Law Firm.
After lunch the citizens headed back to the union for a fun-filled afternoon session. Kelsey Thomas, Abby Nguyen, Kamryn Sannicks and Allissa Flynn were announced as the top four candidates for Girls Nation. Tomorrow at graduation they will find out which two will be alternates and which two will be representing Nebraska in Washington D.C. at the end of July. Session continued with all state offices and city mayors reporting on their week and what offices they visited yesterday after touring the state capitol.
The excitement went up another notch when the senior counselors from each floor performed a skit for the Girls State citizens. The counselors highlighted moments from the week in a comedic manner and even made fun of particular citizen behaviors. The skit ended with a large dance party in the Union Ballroom, allowing the girls to let loose and celebrate their achievements.
Although the citizens are looking forward to graduation, they were a bit torn up by the fact that their last joint session with Cornhusker Boys State was this evening. The citizens came together to watch the energetic JoAnn Owen Nausler speak on the meaning of success and to share their slideshow presentations of photos and videos from the week. At the conclusion of the Boys State slideshow, it was announced that the citizens of Boys and Girls State would be celebrating the 75th Anniversary of CBS by having a dance in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Colosseum. The citizens cheered so loud it was a miracle the glass windows were not shattered at Kimball Hall. However, the video came back with a large, “just kidding.” There was no dance. Instead the citizens of Boys and Girls State ended their evening with a mingling session outside of Kimball Hall.
Tomorrow morning the citizens will say goodbye to their counselors, roommates and friends. However, they will never say goodbye to the memories they made during the week. Congratulations Cornhusker Girls State Class of 2015!
The citizens of Cornhusker Girls State awoke to rain falling outside their windows, but there was nothing but sunshine provided by the citizens inside Mari Sandoz Hall.
The delegates spent their morning voting for Girls Nation senators joint session. Friday morning the Girls Nation finalists will be announced and the finalists will be interviewed. After the interview and some heavy consideration the two Girls Nation senators will be announced Saturday at graduation.
After voting the citizens took a soggy walk to Kimball Hall for the second to last joint session with Cornhusker Boys State. Citizens met early in the day for a debate between the chairs of the Nebraska Democratic and Republican parties. J.L. Spray and Vince Powers introduced themselves, said their opening statements and then let the Girls and Boys State citizens ask questions. The respective media groups formulated the questions for the debate; focusing on Nebraska issues like gay marriage, the TransCanada pipeline and the transportation of marijuana from Colorado.
If seeing the boys wasn’t exciting enough, a few hours away was the governor inauguration. Citizens ate quickly and walked quickly in the spitting rain the mile to the Capitol. Once there, the citizens got the chance to explore the historic building and get a bird’s eye view from the top observation deck.
With exploring done, the main event was on. The 2015 governor of Girls State, Kamryn Sannicks, the senators and the rest of the inaugural group were sworn in. Sannick’s mother, sister and other close friends watched her raise her right hand and repeat after the Supreme Court Justice. After all was said and done the citizens dispersed to different offices within the Nebraska government system to learn about their elected or appointed positions.
Rain continued to dampen the ground, but not the excitement of the impending visit to the Nebraska National Guard base. White buses came to pick girls up and take them to the base. The soldiers on the buses encouraged the girls to cheer as loud as possible all the way to the base and back again. Citizens got up close and personal with the equipment the National Guard uses on a regular basis, including Comanche aircraft, BAMBI buckets and the base control center. The base also had a jungle gym set up, allowing the girls to release all their pent up energy.
One would think all the excitement from the day would wear a teenager out. After floor meetings many girls went to different lobbies or rooms to hang out and unwind after the whirlwind day. They had realized that today marked the over half way point and Girls State is coming to an end.
Visit the Girls State Gazette Online tomorrow for coverage of Girls Nation interviews and the last joint session with Cornhusker Boys State.