This week, Presbyterian College hosts the 70th session of the American Legion Auxiliary Palmetto Girls State (PGS). This event spans a week, bringing approximately 650 high school students and 100 staff members to campus.
In 1938, the Girls State citizenship training program began as a project of the American Legion Auxiliary. South Carolina held its first Palmetto Girls State on the campus of the University of South Carolina in Columbia during the summer of 1947.
According to its website, “Palmetto Girls State is a one-week leadership and citizenship training program, created to educate outstanding high school students about state and local government and citizenship. As citizens of Palmetto Girls State, the delegates are divided into groups called ‘cities.’ They create local governments, devise political party platforms and ultimately elect a Senate, House of Representatives, and state constitutional officers.”
The week consists of simulated political campaigns and elections as well as addresses by guest speakers, expert panels, and staff members and a trip to the State House in Columbia.
Considering that the goal of Palmetto Girls State—to foster leadership abilities in participants while teaching them about themselves and their abilities—aligns with PC’s mission statement, numerous students who come to PC and participate in Palmetto Girls State eventually chose the College as their home.
“PGS was what made me decide to come to PC,” said Maisie Fisher, a sophomore at PC.
“I had heard about the College before, but PGS gave me the opportunity to come to campus and experience the PC life. The PC faculty and staff that I met around campus during PGS were so kind and caring, and I knew that if they were like that during the summer, they must be amazing during the school year.”
Dinah Davis Johnson, a junior at PC and current senior counselor for PGS, said,“I had never been on campus before, so I didn’t know what a wonderful place it was. Being on campus during PGS was what allowed me to see myself as a Blue Hose. If nothing else, I will forever be grateful to PGS for introducing me to the greatest school I could possibly attend.”
“My experiences at PGS impacted me so positively that I continue to come back as many times as possible to give back in any way,” said Ashleigh Nettles, a 2016 PC graduate and current senior counselor for PGS. “When I started at PC, my desire to come back and serve at Girls State grew because at PC, as well as at Girls State, qualities such as service are instilled in every student and young woman. Both PC and Girls State have taught me to be passionate, serving, and appreciative in everything I do, and I am forever grateful for both.”
Presbyterian College is located on a striking 240-acre campus in Clinton, between Columbia and Greenville, S.C. Offering challenging academics and a culture of honor, ethics, and service that prepares students to be leaders in communities, PC offers its students the benefit of engaging with an exceptional faculty who take individual interest in their students’ well-being, both personally and in the classroom. The Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy opened in 2010, and is dedicated to the ideals of leadership, honor to the profession, and service to the community. For more information about Presbyterian College, visit www.presby.edu.