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Lang selected for Girls State, West Point experience

 MADISON – Caroline Lang, a senior at Bob Jones High School, was selected to attend two important conferences this summer, Girls State and the Summer Leadership Experience at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

“At Girls State, we learned more about our duties as American citizens, educated ourselves on our state and local government through participating at the city, county and state level. We made lifelong friends,” Lang said.

In elections, Lang and other delegates held their own elections and participated in the legislative process throughout the week. Just for fun, they enjoyed skit night and a dance party celebrating Girls State’s 75th birthday.

To qualify for Girls State, the students submitted an application, resume and personal statement to the organization. Girls State convened at the University of Alabama on June 4-9.

The major ‘lesson learned’ for Lang was the importance of voting and personal involvement with government. “I also learned a lot about what it means to truly be a leader. One statement that really stuck out among many speeches is, ‘If you believe that service is below you, then leadership is above you.’”

Caroline’s parents are Chip and Patti Lang.

For the West Point experience, Caroline “opened up cadet candidate profile, which means I submitted Part 1 of my entry application.” The application will remain open until the student submits it. “Essentially, this was the first step for applying to West Point.”

Approximately 1,000 students attended the experience in two one-week sessions and represented all 50 states.

SLE familiarizes prospective students with all aspects of West Point cadet life. They stayed in barracks, rose at 5 a.m. for physical training, ate at the mess hall and completed military training one day at Camp Buckner. Lang enrolled in leadership & ethics, physics & nuclear engineering and a foreign language.

Lang and her 14 squad mates “did practically everything together. We ate our meals together, played intramurals as a team and all stayed on the same floor. We got to be really close,” she said.

The teenagers followed a trail along the Hudson River through the campus. “It was absolutely gorgeous,” Lang said. “We played intramural sports every evening, such as dodge ball and ultimate Frisbee.”

The ‘experience’ at West Point was Lang’s introduction to military life. “I realized I could really see myself having a career in the military (which she had not considered). Attending SLE helped me develop teamwork and leadership skills. It taught me what it means to be honest and a person of outstanding character overall,” Lang said.

“Both Girls State and SLE at West Point taught me so many incredible lessons that I will take with me wherever I may go in life — both in my career and personal life. I’m so grateful I was given the opportunity to experience both of these life-changing events. I will carry these memories with me wherever I end up in life,” Lang said.

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