Girls Nation 2019: Gabrielle Desrochers and Michelle Freeman

Gabrielle Desrochers, left, and Michelle Freeman are the two New Hampshire students chosen to attend Girls Nation in Washington, D.C., from July 20-27.

WASHINGTON — Gabrielle Desrochers of Merrimack and Michelle Freeman of Litchfield are two of 100 young women selected to attend the 73rd American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Girls Nation session in Washington, D.C., July 20-27.

Two outstanding individuals, known as “senators,” are selected from each of the 50 ALA Girls State sessions held across the country. These students then represent their respective states at ALA Girls Nation.

The leadership conference provides aspiring young female leaders with practical insight into the workings of government and promotes youth civic engagement.

A key component of the ALA Girls Nation program is the mock senate sessions in which the participants write, caucus and debate bills. Campaigns are held to elect party officials, including an ALA Girls Nation president and vice president.

In addition to their legislative forums, the participants hear from distinguished guest speakers and visit the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, the D.C. monuments and the White House, and also meet with state senators and representatives on Capitol Hill.

“The ALA Girls Nation experience is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young women across our nation to learn firsthand about the inner workings of the federal government before they are of voting age,” said Norma Tramm, American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation chairman. “After attending their local ALA Girls State program and then ALA Girls Nation, the girls return home filled with knowledge, patriotism, and pride.”During the Granite Girls State program, Desrochers performed assignments as “governor” and Freeman as a “senator.”

Desrochers will be a senior at Merrimack High School this fall, and Freeman at Campbell High School in Litchfield.