ELKINS, W.Va. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin addressed the citizens and their families at this year’s Girls State closing ceremony. His speech focused on what it means to be a leader and how to make an impact on the world.
“I want to come here basically to instill into them that I believe in them more than they believe in themselves right now, but there’s so much they can do and be proud of where you’re from, be proud of the state of West Virginia and what we’ve contributed. We hope that you always come back. We hope that you stay here, but your roots will always be here,” said Manchin.
Manchin said he enjoys speaking at Girls State because it reminds him of how much potential young West Virginians have. He said he wants to see the next generation of students reach success.
“I do this every year because this is the youth we’re depending on. These are the leaders that we need. You’ve got to be able to cultivate that and have them ready to step forward, take leadership positions in their community, in their state and be able to take us forward,” said Manchin.
He also said this program is a way to create long-lasting relationships that will benefit citizens well into their futures.
“These are bonds that they will have forever. They’ll remember these when they have their own children and grandchildren. ‘I was at Girls State, and I was there at this time, and I met you from part of the state, and we’ve been friends forever.’ It just happens. It’s who we are as a state,” said Manchin.
The Girls State closing ceremony also featured speeches from students and organizers, along with scholarship presentations.