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#GRLPWR: Vari Patel

Vari Patel of Stephens City, a member of the Senate, introduced a bill to create an inclusive environment for Missouri Girls State. This bill is also called immigration outreach. In the Act, it was proposed that two immigrant students would get one $1,000 each. The process of applying for this scholarship would be much like the process of applying for the Samsung scholarship. This means writing an article and conducting a public interview.

Vari came up with this idea because she, herself, comes from an immigrant family. She said the three most important foundations of moving to a new and foreign place are equality, inclusivity, and trust. Vari said she has experienced all of these feelings while being at MGS and she thinks that this scholarship would help other girls that come from immigrant families feel as though there is equality, inclusivity, and trust in this convention.

Varri said that most immigrants who come here must completely establish a new foundation once they have settled. Establishing a new foundation is often a very scary experience for immigrants and Vari said she believes that the immigrant girls here should be rewarded for their hardships. She also said that she sees the opportunities that this country brings people and how it changes their lives. This scholarship would be included within the opportunities.

I asked Vari who she looks up to and she said she looks up to her grandparents. She looks up to them because of the amount of work that they have put in and the amount of support and encouragement that they have given her. Her grandparents were immigrants. She says seeing what they have been through has caused her to gain respect for all immigrant girls attending MSG.

Vari also says she has done extensive research on the topic of immigration. She has also been involved in the debate team at her school since the seventh grade. She says that she has debated about immigration in various forms while being on the team. This has allowed her to acknowledge how important it is and see their struggles. She says she also knows how hard it is to adapt to a new language while trying to fit in with the values and customs of a new country.

Vari's passion and hard work do not go unnoticed. Her bill has been passed in the Senate and in the House. As I type this, her bill is going to the governor. Her city is extremely proud of her and excited to see what is ahead.

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