Girls State quite an experience for Crepeau

■ Time at Capitol gave her a new perspective

by Jim Boyle
Laura Crepeau of Elk River was elected Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives during a recent Girls State trip to the Minnesota Capitol.

She represented about 65 girls serving in the position. The participants learn all about government and how to craft and pass bills.

It’s an experience she won’t soon forget, and one she is encouraging others to pursue.

“They will come away with knowing how to take an active part of democracy,” she told the Star News. “And they will have a lot more appreciation for the work done down at the Capitol.”

Girls State participants Laura Crepeau and Jarae Ehr along with Ben Stauffer, who was selected for Boys State by the Elk River American Legion.

Appreciation for lawmakers is likely down from the recent state government shutdown.

Crepeau, 18, said seeing some of the complex intricacies of state government first-hand has helped improve her view of the work done at the Capitol.

“You realize they’re really just doing their job,” said Crepeau, who attended Girls State with fellow Elk River Area School District student Jarae Ehr.
Ben Stauffer will be attending Boys State.

The Elk River American Legion sponsors the students at a cost of about $350 per student.

Boys and Girls State is open to high school juniors. There is an application process, which includes an interview.

Ramona Doebler helps administer it, and Crepeau would like to see Elk River High School promote it more.

She believes an informed student body will be more likely to participate. She feels pretty strongly about that after taking part in Girls State.

As for herself, Crepeau plans to go to medical school. She says her goal in life is to help people.

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