Farmville, VA - Governor McDonnell made a stop in Farmville Thursday morning to speak at the annual Virginia Girls State held at Longwood University.
The purpose of Girls State is to provide high schoolers with citizenship and leadership training. The governor encouraged them to use their talents to benefit the world in which they live.
"I understand you are the smartest girls in Virginia," he said.
McDonnell speaks at Girls State every year. This makes it eight years in a row.
"The future of our state and nation depends on people like you," he said.
He inspired the young women to dream big.
"You really can be anything you want to be in this country. Don't let anyone tell you you can't," McDonnell said in his speech.
He answered questions like, 'How do you get into politics?'
"First, work on somebody else's campaign to see all the mistakes they've made. That's what I did."
Alicia Klinko is acting Governor for Girls State 2013. She says having the governor speak was exhilarating. She reflects on one piece of advice she learned at last year's event.
"It was: 'Act like a lady, think like a man, and work like a boss.' It definitely inspired me through my senior year to work a little harder and keep my composure at all times," Ais Klinko.
Who knows, Virginia's first female governor may be in this audience.
"I'm looking forward to that day when we have a young lady that attended Virginia Girls State and she is going into office as the next governor of the commonwealth. That's the thing on my bucket list. I want to go to that inaugural," said Bonnie Burley-Crews, director of Girls State.
Right after his speech in Farmville, McDonnell headed to Boys State, which is being held in Radford this year, to speak to the guys there.