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Arizona Girls State program creates future leaders

Posted at 9:05 AM, Jun 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-07 20:41:31-04

Katherine Burnett, 22, wasn't afraid to fly into what's traditionally a male-dominated field.

Following in her mother's footsteps, she's a pilot and flight instructor at Cochise College in Douglas. Burnett's confidence is thanks in part to the Arizona Girls State program.

"As a young girl under the age of 18, not always having the most confidence in the world, I think that's what stuck with me is 'I can do this,'" Burnett said. "I can do whatever I want, even if it's not in politics and civic government which is not what I do at all."

This week around 280 girls from all over the state have been at the University of Arizona for the week long course. The girls are going into their senior year of high school.

Here's how it works: the group is broken up into cities. They work ordinances, hold mock elections and create budgets. Organizers say it's a hands-on way to learn how everything works in our city, county and state governments.

It's run through the American Legion and there is an interview process. It really struck a chord with Burnett and now she wants to pass it on.

"It brought me out of my comfort zone and showed me I can do this," Burnett said. "I think I really carried that with me and I wanted to come back and mentor these girls."

Here's more about the program.