GAINING EARLY AWARENESS AND READINESS FOR UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS (GEAR UP)

Prosser High GEAR UP mentor summer experience

Miss Felicijan greeting the PresidentNot only was it a busy summer with our cohort students retrieving credits that were lost during the school year, but It was also busy for our GEAR UP mentor Joslyn Felicijan. Joslyn has been a GEAR UP mentor for two years now and has been working with our cohort students in academics and guiding them to do well in school. This summer she received an opportunity of a life time.

Joslyn Felicijan, a senior at PHS attended Girls State in June at Central University. After three days of speeches and open forum questions she was elected to be American Legion Auxiliary US Senator for Washington State and attend Girls State. She also got to represent WA State at Girls Nation in Washington DC in July.  Prosser has not had a young lady attend Girl’s Nation in 26 years.

Mr. Kintner a cohort Social Studies teacher from Prosser High School is the liaison for the Evergreen Girls State organization. Joslyn was one of three girls selected from Prosser High School by American Legion Chairmen Glenda Schmidt, President Bev Hood, and President Bill Owens. There was an interview process and an essay to write on Why Girls State Would be Beneficial. Joslyn attended Girls State at Central Washington University the week of June 14-June 20. Evergreen Girls State focuses on city, county, and state government. During the week there were opportunities to participate in the legislative, executive or judicial branch of government, learning how to pass bills and the process of making laws.  There were inspirational speakers from various occupations and an opportunity to meet 175 ambitious young women representing high schools from the State of Washington. After three days of speeches and open forum interview questions, Joslyn was voted in by her peers as the American Legion Auxiliary Evergreen Girls State US Senator, to represent WA State at Girls Nation in Washington DC July 25-August 1.

Joslyn was also selected as Supreme Court Judge for Girls Nation 2015. Some of Joslyn’s highlights at ALA Girls Nation were visiting the White House east wing and meeting President Barack Obama.

ALA Girls Nation has provided aspiring young women leader’s firsthand experience with practical insight into how the federal government works. Two participants per state, known as “senators,” are chosen to represent their respective Girls State programs.

A week is spent creating a mock legislature, submitting bills and resolutions, participating in senate sessions, holding a national convention, and electing officials such as president and vice president. Special field trips include visits to the White House, Arlington National Cemetery, monument tours, and a day on Capitol Hill meeting with state senators and representatives. While the event may happen once in a lifetime, the memories made last forever.

When interviewing Joslyn she stated, “I never thought that I would be selected to even attend Girl's State, but I tried and achieved it.  I decided at Girl's State to run for WA State US Senator, and I was selected!  I was even shocked myself that I was being supported by 176 girls that were strangers and they selected me because I don’t get this much support from most of my classmates.  This experience has boosted my confidence and inspired me to believe in myself and that hard work and dedication pays off.” She is ready to start off the year right and make a positive impact on our GEAR UP student’s life’s.

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