The Words of the Musiol Family

Second Generation High School Student Wins Top Honor at Girls State in Maryland - Veronica Musiol

Douglas Burton
July 14, 2009

Veronica Musiol, 17, a second-generation Unificationist, politicked her way to the top post at a weeklong educational summer camp in Maryland and will address the 88th Convention of the American Legion Auxiliary in Ocean City on July 16. Veronica was elected “governor” of Girls State, a national government education program sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary. She is the daughter of Ron and Robin Musiol of Severna Park, Maryland. Ron serves as an elder of the New Hope Family Church in West Lanham Hills, Maryland.

The girls of Girls State in Maryland, 130 in all, were assigned to represent fictitious cities and counties, and learned the inner workings of local and state governments at the 2009 Maryland Girls State program at Salisbury University in June. Participants in this nonpartisan event ran for office at the city, county or state level, debated bills in the legislature, and honed their electioneering skills.

“It was both stressful and exciting,” Veronica says, explaining that the girls frequently worked late at night to write speeches and prepare for the competitions. “My friend from Silver Spring who served as my Lt. Governor helped me all along the way, and we stayed up all night writing my campaign speech for governor.”

Girls State is well known to women at the top levels of leadership. Every summer, nearly 20,000 young women participate in Girls State sessions across the nation. Alumni include former Texas governor Ann Richards, news commentator Jane Pauley and past chairwoman for the National Endowment for the Humanities, Lynne Cheney.

One of the leaders of the American Legion Auxiliary tells that Veronica was the right choice for governor. “She was one of the girls that everyone knew, she was a joker, but she made a great speech,” the source said, adding that Veronica will be the first leader of Girls State to speak to Maryland’s State Convention of the American Legion Auxiliary.

“Many of the girls take the election process very, very, very seriously,” Veronica says. “But I told people, ‘Look, this would be an honor, and I would love to serve, but the bottom line is, this is not life or death, it’s a camp.’” She credits her success in the election to a low-key, humorous manner, and to the fact that many fellow Girl-Staters appreciated her hard work to research the proposed law they were debating, whether to repeal capital punishment, in their practice legislature. Veronica says that some girls didn’t take the research chores on the legislation too seriously, but she went to the library at Salisbury University and pulled down tables of statistics that supported the case for abolishing the death penalty.

She also credits the character education she got in the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. “I believed I could help the other girls humbly and honorably. I knew it wasn’t about my personal glory, and I knew that because of my church experience. Without that, I would have been much more self-centered,” she says. When people ask her what her religion is, Veronica says she usually tells them that she is part of the Family Federation for World Peace. “I usually say ‘Family Federation,’ because I believe our community is not a church but a movement.”

In her remarks to the assembly of students and parents on the final day of the camp, Veronica observed, “Each parent here has every right to brag about his or her children, because I have learned that every girl, whether interested in political affairs or not, is uniquely and individually special.

“And special doesn’t mean they she is either a great orator, or super smart or even talented,” she continued. “Being special is a glowing potential which comes from the desire a person has to dream. Having a dream is seeing a candle in the darkness and feeling hope and expectation when an obstacle is blocking your view; even though you can no longer see the other side, deep down you know it’s still there” she said.

Contributed by Douglas Burton 

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