Girls Nation delegate has lofty ambitions

By GAYLE COULTER State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Ranesha Edmondson says she'd like to be the first female African-American president of the United States.

But for now, she'll settle for winning the presidency at Girls Nation in Washington, D.C.

Girls Nation, sponsored by the national American Legion Auxiliary, is a week-long educational program that teaches young women about the structure and function of state government.

Finalists are selected to participate from the Girls State programs across the country. Edmonson, a 17-year-old senior at Frankfort High School, is one of two young women selected at the Kentucky level to represent the Commonwealth starting July 19-26.

Edmonson was elected governor while at Girls State held in June at Cumberland College.

She credits Derrick Graham, her history teacher at Frankfort High who is also a representative in the General Assembly, with first encouraging her to get involved with the program. Graham told Edmonson how Bill Clinton met John F. Kennedy through the Boys Nation program which changed the direction of his life.

"I'm very proud of her," Graham said. "We did it as a class project and she told me when she left she was going to run for governor."

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