From high school to government: Katie Solodar hopes to take the lead


Kaleiya Andrews

During a meeting for Every Mind Matters, junior Katie Solodar leads the group in introductions and advice. Solodar co-founded the club and works to destigmatize mental illness. “The overall goal is for this club to be a place where people can come and learn about mental illness,” Solodar said. “We tried to give good advice on how to take care of yourself, even more than just ‘drink a lot of water.’”

After being recommended by history teachers and principals, junior Katie Solodar got accepted into Missouri Girls State (MGS), a camp for upcoming senior girls who are passionate about the government.

“First, I was called down to Mr. [Mario] Pupillo’s office and he told me I was nominated to be sponsored,” Solodar said.  “I was so surprised and excited that I was the one chosen.”

The camp will take place from June 23-29 at the University of Central Missouri.

“The main goal is to have fun learning about government and politics with other young women from Missouri,” Solodar said. “We talk about building American pride and we learn from speakers and officials.”

Along with discussions, the young women at MGS will work on an overall project of creating a mock government by the end of the week.

“Everyone is assigned a city to represent as a delegate,” Solodar said.  “This will be the group you work with throughout the week. By the end of the week, a fake government will be built.”

The MGS also has many opportunities, including running for office within MGS, helping with campaigns, listening to guest speakers and taking classes about government.

“There will be local politicians, state and federal leaders, military leaders, judges and more to talk about their experiences and what they’ve achieved,” Soldar said.

There are also opportunities to travel to special events and trips for those elected as MGS representatives. These representatives are leaders in MGS and help to facilitate discussions and attend party conventions.

¨Elected ‘senators and representatives’ go to Jefferson City for a party convention to practice passing bills and resolutions,” Solodar said.

MGS accepts 760 girls from the more than 200 American Legion Auxiliary units throughout the entire state of Missouri to attend the camp.

“I’m a little nervous that I will be too shy to participate, but hopefully I’ll push myself out of my comfort zone to try new things,” Solodar said.

Insight about politics, leadership and campaigning are the primary goals of MGS. They aim to impact the members’ futures.

“Missouri Girls State will benefit me because I’m passionate about helping others and want to pursue a career in government, nonprofit or social work,” Solodar said.