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RHS Senior Represents RPS and MN at the American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation in Washington, D.C.

This summer, RHS senior Helen Dombrock was one of two student representatives from Minnesota to attend the American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation in Washington, D.C. While there, she experienced firsthand how our government works by participating in a mock legislature, submitting bills and resolutions, participating in senate sessions and electing officials such as president and vice president.

From Helen:

In our Girls Nation senate, each bill was heard one at a time and allowed for the authors to introduce their bills, time for clarification, as well as time for debate and a conclusion of the bill. We slowly learned parle pro with only a couple of bumps of correct order along the way. We became very acquainted with the phrase “decorum” from our elected Pro Tem. We voted on each presented bill. Unfortunately, the bill from Minnesota was too far down the docket to be presented. The Minnesota written bill is included below. Some were passed, but some failed as well. Our elected party whips helped ensure our parties voted in alignment with bills that supported our party’s stances on various topics. These stances were created by our party platform committees. 

When not in session, the participants had the opportunity to meet with national leaders and toured the Washington, D.C. area.

More from Helen:

When not in the senate or at the conference center, we were out and about in Washington D.C. We toured Arlington National Cemetery and saw the Kennedy tombstones, as well as the tombstone of the recently-deceased Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We also viewed the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and presented a wreath made of paper poppies, the symbolic memorial flower of the American Legion Auxiliary. Later in the week, we toured the National Mall, including the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of American History, the Washington Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Monument, the Martin Luther King Jr. Monument, and saw Capitol Hill. It was truly inspiring to see all these amazing landmarks and to understand and appreciate their standings. Finally, we toured Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington and the place of his tomb. The efforts made to keep Mt. Vernon in such exceptional condition were impressive. 

The entire experience made a lasting impact on the participants, including Helen. Here are her final reflections on the trip:

I gained a deeper understanding and appreciation for our Nation’s leaders and elected officials, due process, as well as our veterans who have served and are fighting for our safety and freedoms. The symbolism within our Capitol and the American Legion Auxiliary is deeper than I could have ever imagined. It is rather impossible for me to sum up this experience adequately, but I encourage any students interested in participating in Girls State or Girls Nation to reach out regarding how they can be involved. Truly, this is an experience I will always cherish. 

The American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation, or ALA Girls Nation for short, was founded in 1947 and more than 7,000 young women have participated during that time. We are proud to have had Helen Dombrock represent not only RPS but also Minnesota this year! Go Spartans!


74th ALA Girls Nation Congress 2021

S.B.

To protect minors from life sentences without parole for non-homicidal crimes.

IN THE SENATE OF ALA GIRLS NATION

July 2021

Senators Dombrock and Duffy of Minnesota introduced the following bill; which was referred to Committee.

A BILL

To protect minors from life sentences without parole for non-homicidal crimes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE SENATE OF GIRLS NATION ASSEMBLED.

SECTION 1. TITLE

This bill may be cited as the “Juvenile Virtual Sentencing Act.”

SECTION 2. PURPOSE

The Juvenile Virtual Sentencing Act will protect juveniles from virtual sentences for non-homicidal crimes.

SECTION 3. DEFINITIONS

Virtual sentence refers to beyond average life expectancy without the possibility of parole.

Average life expectancy refers to the age of seventy-eight years.

SECTION 4. JUVENILE VIRTUAL SENTENCING ACT

The Juvenile Virtual Sentencing Act entails that:

(A) Juveniles who have committed non-homicidal crimes may not be sentenced beyond the average life expectancy without the possibility of parole. 

(1) This bill will not prevent juveniles from life sentences under the condition that the juvenile will be eligible for parole.

(B) This act applies to all previous court convictions whereby the court ruled in favor of a virtual life sentence at the time the offender was a juvenile.

  1. For prisoners affected, they will be eligible for parole after serving twenty years.

SECTION 5. EFFECTIVE DATE 

This act shall be effective for all citizens of the United States on January 1, 2022.

 

RPS Senior Helen Dombrock in front of Washington Monument

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