Roby speaks to Girls State

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, June 9, 2011

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., speaks to delegates to the 2011 Alabama Girls State in Troy, Ala., Thursday, June 9, 2011. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

Roby urges Girls Staters to ‘give back’ throughout life

The rising senior high school girls participating in Girls State at Troy University were encouraged to “give back” to their hometowns on Thursday.

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., was an advocate of public service, encouraging young women to serve their communities during a speech she gave at Claudia Crosby Theater on Troy University’s campus Thursday afternoon.

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“Keep your eyes wide open, because you never know when the opportunity to serve may come,” Roby said.

Roby, who has had experience serving with Girls State as a counselor, said the lessons taught at Girls State encourage young women to do their best in all they do and to realize challenges can always be turned into opportunities. “This is a great opportunity for young women to experience government first hand, to see what they like and don’t like,” Roby said. “Also, it really builds up their own confidence in what decisions they want to make later on down the road. I think as they move through college and their careers, they will look back on this opportunity to participate in Girls State as a real stepping stone for future decisions.” Roby answered questions from the students attending the weeklong event and emphasized the importance of working hard and to “do what you’re called to do.”

“Do what you love. Find something you’re passionate about and doors will open,” Roby said.

The American Legion Auxiliary sponsors the Girls State program, which is designed to build patriotism in high school students through hands-on activities and an introduction into civics and government. More than 300 rising seniors, including four from Pike County, are participating. Roby said she is a big believer in the positive impact Girls State has on so many young women throughout the country.

After witnessing firsthand the influence Girls State had on her sister, Roby said the students “ought to be so proud of the opportunity” they had in being selected to attend the weeklong program. “My sister was chosen to go,” Roby said. “Anybody that you ever talk to that has a Girls State background will tell you what a positive influence this program has had on their life.”