The American Legion Auxiliary kicked off its 73rd annual Palmetto Girls State session on Sunday, June 9, hosted at Presbyterian College. The week-long program welcomed more than 650 rising high school seniors from across the state who were selected based on the leadership skills and involvement they have shown in their respective schools and communities.

We are thrilled to welcome the delegates of the 73rd Palmetto Girls State session,” said Florence Belser, director of Palmetto Girls State. “This program provides students with the opportunity to grow in their leadership skills and obtain firsthand experience with governmental procedures, while also forming bonds with new friends that will last a lifetime. They also have the opportunity to hear from prominent leaders from across our state.”

Throughout the week, the program will host leaders from throughout the state of South Carolina and beyond, including:

Sunday, June 9:

· Hon. Kathy Maness, Lexington Town Council

· Hon. G.M. Whitley, Mount Pleasant Town Council

Monday, June 10:

· Hon. Robert McLean, Mayor of the City of Clinton

· Hon. Debra Summers, Lexington County Council

· Hon. Dalhi Myers, Richland County Council

Tuesday, June 11

· Sen. Katrina F. Shealy, S.C. Senate, Dist. 23

· Sen. Daniel B. Verdin, III, S.C. Senate, Dist. 9

· Rep. Chandra Dillard, S.C. House of Representatives, Dist. 23

· Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell, S.C. House of Representatives, Dist. 44

· Lou Kennedy, CEO and President of Nephron Pharmaceuticals

Wednesday, June 12

· Hon. Aphrodite Konduros, Judge for S.C. Court of Appeals

· Hon. Molly M. Spearman, S.C. Superintendent of Education

The week will culminate with a parade and joint inauguration of officers with the American Legion’s Palmetto Boys State on Friday, June 13, at 10:15 a.m. in downtown Columbia, ending with a ceremony at the State House.

To learn more about Palmetto Girls State and stay up to date on the status of this week’s program, visit PalmettoGirlsState.netand follow along on Facebook, Instagramand Twitter.