Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is only one student allowed to represent a high school when there are so many qualified students?
A search on 9/17/22 of the California Department of Education database resulted in 2,902 schools. Even at our pre-pandemic number of 540 delegates, only 18.6% of schools in the state would be represented. We want to broaden our reach as each delegate is encouraged to return to their high school to share what they learned with the entire school and community.
Limiting delegates to one per school improves the diversity of our program by encouraging American Legion Auxiliary Units to reach out to multiple schools in the area. Although it would be easier to contact one counselor at one school to obtain multiple delegates, our goal is to involve more high schools throughout the state in American Legion Auxiliary California Girls State.
Most of the delegates report that they feel comfortable trying new experiences or ones that are important to them instead of what others expect them to do because no one else at ALA CAGS knows them or expects them to run for a particular office. High school students often feel great pressure to live up to others’ expectations. Delegates feel free to follow their own pursuits at ALA CAGS.
2. Is there only one 2024 American Legion Program in California - Boys and Girls State?
No, there are two separate programs sponsored by two separate organizations.
• The American Legion (TAL) California Boys State program held its first coed session in 2023.
• The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) will hold its 81st session of the ALA California Girls State program.
A student may apply to either The American Legion CA Boys State or American Legion Auxiliary CA Girls State,
but not both.
3. Is a female student who attends The American Legion CA coed Boys State program eligible to attend American
Legion Boys Nation program?
At this time TAL Boys Nation program is not coed.
4. Is a female student who attends The American Legion CA coed Boys State program eligible to attend the
American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation program?
Only students who attend ALA CA Girls State may be selected to represent CA at ALA Girls Nation.
5. May students who do not identify as female attend ALA CA Girls State?
Female students, students who identify as females, and gender non-conforming individuals are all welcome to apply to American Legion Auxiliary CA Girls State. All references on our website and paperwork to “women and girls” and “she/her” include gender-expansive individuals. A student may apply to either The American Legion CA Boys State or American Legion Auxiliary CA Girls State, but not both.
6. How are students selected to attend ALA CA Girls State?
Each sponsoring American Legion Auxiliary Unit determines its process to select a delegate, 1st alternate, and 2nd alternate for each school it sponsors. Applications, essays, and/or interviews are all commonly used.
7. Why is The American Legion CA Boys State program larger than ALA CA Girls State?
According to June 2023 membership reports, The American Legion had 418 Posts with 67,829 total members in CA. The American Legion Auxiliary has 238 Units with 17,808 total members in CA.
The ALA CAGS program is administered solely by volunteers at the ALA Unit, District, and Department (state) level.
Though there may be a large difference in the number of attendees between the programs, the number of high schools represented may be comparable or even larger with ALA CA Girls State due to the ALA CAGS goal to increase involvement of as many high schools throughout the state as possible.
8. When will the online store be open for purchases?
Our online store is always open! New designs and merchandise are constantly being added.
9. Will selected delegates be eligible for any scholarship opportunities?
There will be opportunities for scholarship consideration, including the Samsung American Legion Scholarship.
The application closes on the first day of our session.
10. How can I stay involved with ALA California Girls State?
We would love for you to stay involved. Most areas in the state have American Legion Auxiliary Units that you can join. Visit the Department of California website or the National ALA website to find your local Unit. There is also the ALA California Girls State Alumnae Foundation. GSAF is actively involved in supporting the program as well as the development of our alumnae!