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West Ranch junior chosen for Girls State

Student picked for program teaching how government works

Posted: April 14, 2009 7:58 p.m.
Updated: April 15, 2009 4:30 a.m.
From written to spoken word, Hannah Langley has no problem expressing herself.

That’s at least partly why Langley, 17, a junior at West Ranch High School, was selected as the 2009 Girls State Representative to represent the school at the annual Girls State conference to be held at Pitzer College in Claremont this summer.

Girls State, a program offered by the American Legion Auxillary, is a nonpartisan program that teaches young women responsible citizenship and provides an opportunity to learn firsthand how state and local government works.

“The honor of being the sole representative of your whole school is pretty awesome,” Langley, of Valencia, said. “You are the only representative chosen for that whole year.”

Each local high school may send only one rep to Pitzer for a weeklong government and leadership program.

Two delegates from each of the state programs will be selected for the Girls Nation, which meets July 23-30 this year in Chevy Chase, Md. and will provide a unique federal government training session to qualifying individuals.

Langley will join roughly 17,000 young women in the program.

“Hannah was well prepared to put her best foot forward,” Lee Langley, Hannah’s father, said. “Her practice in resume writing and interview processes really paid off. We are so proud of her hard work that has allowed her to get here.”

Langley’s experience at the college will consist of living with other delegates — about 30 girls per floor of a residence hall — an experience that is intended to replicate a community.

From there, the girls are told to create their own city governments with city councils to govern citizens. The students are the citizens and hold elections and organize a Board of Supervisors, Superior Court, District Attorney’s and Sheriff’s offices.

To simulate what is performed under laws of the Constitution and the State of California, the experience will allow the students to become familiar with the functions and workings of state government and its subdivisions.

“It was a bit of a surprise to be nominated,” Langley said. “I was nominated anonymously by one of my teachers and then given the opportunity to write a resume and interview for the program. I am honored to be chosen.”

Creating a good resume isn’t the only piece of successful writing Langley has accomplished. She’s had other writing successes as well.

Lee Langley first noticed his daughter’s writing abilities at the age of 11, when Hannah Langley was in the process of writing her first novel.

“Those first few pages quickly turned into her book, ‘Don’t Call Me Sam,’ which is now circulating among New York agents,” Lee Langley said.

The high school student has had her short stories published in three national/international literary journals. One of her pieces was featured in the February issue of “Teen Voices” online.

Langley’s successes haven’t deterred her from school work or extracurricular activities.

“Whenever I pester her to write another story or submit to a publication, she keeps me in check,” Lee Langley said. “She reminds me she has homework to do, also letting me know she has something she calls, ‘a life.’”


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