Wheeling Park High School senior Morgan Marquart recently represented West Virginia in a national event and performed in the nation’s capital.
Marquart took part in the annual American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation held July 21-28 in Washington, D.C., and she was also a member of the Girls Nation Choir that performed at Arlington National Cemetery. Since 1947, Girls Nation has provided aspiring young women leaders firsthand experience with practical insight into how the federal government works. Two participants per state, known as “senators,” are chosen to represent their respective ALA Girls State programs.
Senators spend the week 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.
Marquart said she was thrilled to take part in the event, and she got the opportunity to meet Vice President Mike Pence. She noted that meeting “senators” representing other states was a pleasure.
“Girls Nation was a truly inspiring experience,” Marquart said. “Being surrounded by so many bright, like-minded and passionate young women was such an empowering moment in my life. From meeting with Vice President Pence to our state senators, I truly felt like I was a part of something really special.
“Now I can say I have friends in Alaska, Hawaii and all over,” she added. “Being one of the few girls to participate in the choir was transformative as well. We were able to sing during a service at Arlington National Cemetery and on the National Mall too. Overall, being involved in Girls State and especially Girls Nation has given me a deep respect for our government and military more so than I already possessed.”