Saturday, July 17, 2010

Good Evening from Girls Nation!!

Well, we just finished our opening convocation. You will never guess who our guest was – the author of the words and music to the Girls State song. Back in 1947, a contest was held to find a theme song for Girls State. Haroldene Heeren ( now Schreck) was a delegate at Nebraska Girls State.She wrote the song, submitted it to National and the rest is history. Haroldene told the girls that over the years she forgot about it until recently when she was cleaning out old papers and found the original manuscript. This prompted her to write to National. The heading on her letter was “I bet who can’t believe I’m still alive.” Well, I knew I wanted her at Girls Nation. The girls loved her! Over the years, Haroldeen became a professional musician, playing piano, mostly jazz. She played the Girls State song like I never heard it!! We all sang and it was wonderful. She autographed about a hundred copies of the Girls State song and will come to Arlington with us tomorrow.

Our keynote speaker was Mary McNaught Yonkman, a Girls Nation alumnus from 2001. Mary talked to the girls about how her experience at Girls Nation helped to shape her life these last nine years. Mary is an incredible young woman who currently works in DC for a non-profit. She is passionate about how returning service men and women need to be appreciated by their communities. After the opening, Mary and the girls gathered for an informal Q & A. Much of the talk centered around college, jobs and service. This fall, Mary starts a new job for a non-profit called The Mission Continues. This organization provides fellowships to returning wounded veterans to find career and education opportunities. What’s cool is that this organization was founded by a Boys Nation alumnus.

The PR staff is kicking me out. They need their sleep. More tomorrow...


  1. Thanks for the upate and for letting us get our sleep Janet!

    Love - the PR team

  2. Did anyone record Haroldene's version of the Girls State Song? I'd LOVE to hear it!

  3. No, sorry. She actually didn't want to lead the song, because she thought the girls would do a better in singing it than she would. We do have some great pictures of her and the girls and will have those up on Facebook soon.

    She played the piano while the girls sang... the song hasn't changed at all from when she wrote it!