Colton’s American Legion Women’s Auxiliary is sponsoring one girl’s attendance to a week-long conference that teaches basic ideals and principles of government.
Colton High School student Dominique Salazar, 16, was chosen from a pool of seven young ladies to attend the California Girls State Leadership and Citizenship Program from June 26 to July 1 at Claremont McKenna College.
The annual conference is organized by the American Legion Auxiliary Department of California.
Back in February, Colton Auxiliary members Lupe Lavin and Mary Lou Navarro interviewed the seven students–asking them questions relating to their community service experience and scholarly achievements.
Lavin said past Girls State participants have had doors open for them as a result of their experiences. Prominent leaders such as journalist Jane Pauley, former second lady Lynne Cheney, and former Texas governor Ann Richards are former participants of the program.
The girls interviewed are bright students with exceptional grade point averages and good leadership skills, Lavin confirmed.
“We see meek and very quiet girls transformed into completely different people,” she expressed. “They come back with an understanding of what needs to be done to get to where they want to be.”
Salazar is the secretary of the Eco Friendly Friends–a student club at Colton High School that helps educate the community about environmental issues–and president of the marching band. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and Key Club.
Salazar currently holds a 4.1 GPA. She hopes to attend either UC Irvine or UC San Diego to study political science and women’s studies.
The incoming senior decided to “put herself out there” in hopes of developing stronger networking and communication skills that will help her academically and professionally in the future.
“I really didn’t think I was going to get selected ,” explained Salazar. “This is a really huge deal and I am thankful for this opportunity.”
In five years Salazar sees herself attending law school. She hopes to one day serve her community as a civil rights or immigration lawyer.
“My focus is on empowering others,” she said. “I hope to provide a voice to the voiceless.”