Girls State reps Farrow, Armbrust visit Post 457, share experiences with Legion members
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
Every summer, members of the Sunbury’s Col. Benson W. Hough American Legion Post 457 sponsors several students who attend Buckeye Boys State and Buckeye Girls State. Last Thursday evening, two girls who attended Buckeye Girls State stopped at the Legion Post to share their experiences with Post 457 members.
Esther Armbrust is between her junior and senior year. She’s a home-schooled student who also attends Big Walnut High School.
Armbrust said she first heard about Buckeye Girls State from Post 457 member Roy Merchant, and her four older siblings also attended either boys or girls state.
“I was excited about the opportunity,” Armbrust said. “I got involved with TeenPact, was elected as a senator there, and got excited about government. I learned that we do have a voice in how our government is run.”
Armbrust said while at Buckeye Girls State, held this year at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, she became the administrative assistant to the governor.
“There were so many incredible girls, and I learned a lot,” Armbrust said. “The one significant thing I learned about was campaigning — how to connect with people, and how to get people to listen.
“I’m not certain of what I’d like to become,” Armbrust continued. “But I do know that I would like to bring our government back to the Christian values it was founded on; and I know that I personally have a voice and my voice can be recognized.”
Armbrust will attend the TeenPact Congress in August where she will serve as a Senator. During her senior year she will take college courses as part of the Post Secondary Option program, then take a year off following high school and participate in a mission.
Rachel Farrow attends Westerville South High School. Farrow was a Westerville American Legion Buckeye Girls State alternate, when Post 457 members stepped up to the plate and sponsored her.
Farrow, who’s father attended Buckeye Boys State, said she took government during her junior year and found out that textbook government is different than government in the real world.
“Things are completely different than what I’d learned in class,” Farrow said. “We focused on a lot more on caucusing. I met so many people from so many backgrounds. One friend was from a class of only 16 people.
“I loved this opportunity and I’m very grateful to members of Post 457 for sponsoring me,” she added.
Farrow, who plays lacrosse and is involved in theatre at Westerville South, will spend her senior year studying in France and plans to pursue engineering in college.
The Ohio American Legion Auxiliary has sponsored Buckeye Girls State for more than 60 years. This year over 900 girls from around the State of Ohio attended Buckeye Girls State.
Buckeye Girls State and Buckeye Boys State application forms are available in the Big Walnut High School guidance office during December and January. Post 457 looks for students who are active; they don’t necessarily have to have be high grade point average students, but students who are involved in their education and participate in extracurricular activities and outside organizations.
For additional information about Buckeye Girls State go to < buckeyegirlsstate.org >; for additional information about Sunbury’s Col. Benson W. Hough American Legion Post 457 go to < americanlegionsunbury.com >.