Butler County Times Gazette
  • CHS senior shares about experience at Girls State

  • Catherine Debbrecht, who will be a senior at Circle High School, received the unique opportunity to experience how government works first hand through the Girls State program.
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  • Catherine Debbrecht, who will be a senior at Circle High School, received the unique opportunity to experience how government works first hand through the Girls State program.
    Debbrecht attended a dinner held for the Girls and Boys staters by the American Legion Auxiliary recently to share with them some of the things she learned at Girls State, which was held June 2 through 7 at Washburn University.
    Debbrecht had an interest in law so she ran to be county attorney for her county.
    "First we took a form of the bar exam over you and the courts," she said.
    They also heard from two career panels which were both made up of six professionals who talked about their jobs. Among those speakers was the governor and an attorney.
    She found the attorney the most interesting.
    "I'm probably partial to attorneys because I want to be an attorney," she said. "The really interesting part was the Q&A with last year's Girls State governor and lieutenant governor."
    The event she enjoyed the most was a trip to the courthouse, where they got to talk to the district attorney.
    They also got to shadow the occupation they held and they watched a sentencing hearing.
    Debbrecht learned about Girls State from her grandmother. She said it was something her mother had always wanted to do but did not have the opportunity to do and she also knew someone who had gone to Boys State. Debbrecht looked into it with her school counselor, Deb Wheeler, and thought it sounded interesting.
    "We love for them to go and it looks good on their resumes and college applications," Wheeler said.
    Debbrecht is the daughter of Don and Cathy Debbrecht.
    Other girls who attended but were unable to attend the dinner were LaRyssa Baker and Ashley Schneider. Brandon Powell went to Boys State.
    The youth are funded through the American Legion Auxiliary, Soroptimists, Kiwanis and others. Debbrecht was sponsored by groups in Towanda.
    "I'm sure your parents are proud of you for receiving this honor, but realizing you are a credit to their work in your life," said Gene Herrman, Legion Post finance officer.
    "I appreciate the opportunity immensely," Debbrecht said. "I learned a lot from each speaker. I learned so much about government."
    "This is our future and I'm just real proud of you," American Legion Auxiliary member Virginia Ball told Debbrecht.
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