Grace Carman remembers summer 2019 fondly. It was her last “normal” summer before the COVID-19 pandemic. But that’s not the only reason that summer will be an everlasting memory. She attended ALA Buckeye Girls State and credits the program for helping her discover her career path.
While learning about government, Carman took advantage of an opportunity to experience covering politics as a journalist. Her fellow citizens elected her as their city’s reporter. She photographed events, wrote articles, and interviewed fellow citizens and state lawmakers. Because of this experience, she decided to purse degrees in public relations and advertising at Ball State University.
Did attending ALA Girls State help your college career?
Attending ALA Buckeye Girls State drastically helped my college career. I even applied to Ball State University using articles I had written for the Withrow City newspaper at ALA Girls State.
Before attending ALA Girls State, I was uncertain about my career path or if I would be able to make a difference in our government without being a politician. My time in the program assured me that I could make a difference while still being a dedicated professional outside of politics. My time as city reporter instilled a passion for journalism and brand representation that was unmatched — leading me to choose my two majors in advertising and public relations, both of which I am beyond passionate about.
Do you think this experience will help you in your future career?
I know for a fact that this experience will help me in my future career. It goes way beyond simple résumé building. My experience at ALA Girls State truly prepared me in all aspects of what it means to be a professional. ALA Girls State has prepared me for a future career that is well-rounded and thoughtful, and already I have made many connections through networking with potential employers who also attended ALA Girls State. They recognize the beneficial impact the program has on young women in the professional world.
What is your favorite memory from your experience?
Giving my speech when I ran for city reporter. Knowing not a single girl in my city, I was scared and excited to give my speech and convince them to elect me to represent them in our city’s media. The encouragement that these complete strangers gave me was enough to truly push me to give an amazing speech and enjoy the process of running for the position. Without their support, I would have missed so many opportunities and experiences that made me who I am today.
Did you know?
ALA Girls Nation will host its 75th session this July? We want to hear from alumnae of all ages! Tell us your ALA Girls Nation story, how it impacted your life, and what you are doing today. Email us at ALAMagazine@ALAforVeterans.org.
In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.