Students take leadership skills to capitol at Boys, Girls State

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Students take leadership skills to capitol at Boys, Girls State

Ragan Lewis, Opinions Editor

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This past summer, incoming seniors, three boys and one girl, were nominated to go to Boys State and Girls State.

These organizations are summer leadership and citizenship programs sponsored by The American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary for High School Juniors. These students are nominated during their junior year of high school by past participants. The three boys, Jesus Guerrero, Jonathan Ponce and Trentin Reneau, were nominated by students while the only girl, Emily Fisher, was nominated by Ms. Karen Solberg. Since there was no past participant last year for Girls State, Solberg was chosen to nominate one girl for the program.

“It was a pretty serious process,” Fisher said. “I think it was harder for girls to get picked because we don’t have the room to be stupid.”

Each program is held at a college campus, for the boys it is the University of Texas at Austin in Austin, Texas. Girls State is held at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas.

Boys and Girls State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for U.S. high school students. Founded in 1935 to counteract rising socialism, Boys State was founded to increase patriotism in younger generations.

“God bless America,” Ponce said. “You had to say that in all of your speeches.”

Once the students arrive they get sorted into parties (not republican and democrat) and then into cities. Each ‘city’ was made up of each party being half the population. After dinner, election of city officials, such as mayor, color guard, press corps, and olympiad director are held. Throughout the week elections are held, this may be a local, district, region, or state election. Ponce was the only one to obtain a position, he made chairman of his city and district, but failed to make state. These officials make laws, go to Austin, and listen and debate for many things.

According to Ponce, Guerrero, and Reneau, it wasn’t as serious as Fisher’s trip.

“We legalized prostitution,” Reneau said. “We actually did, and LSD.”

From the schedules it was, on day one of their week long stay, they met 13 different dignitaries including officials and top aides from the Texas legislature, railroad commission, board of education, and the U.S. Armed Forces. For the girls, the busy week had a lot of traveling to Austin.

“They would take a bus to Austin almost everyday to be involved in legislature,” Fisher said.

While most of the time it was about politics, the boys and girls had talent shows and performances. They had a concert band, tricks and voices.

“Yeah there was some guy playing the guitar and another one sang,” Guerrero said.

In the end, all Caney Creek participants said it was fun and full of helpful on the understanding of government.

“It was a lot of fun,” Ponce said. “It was hot and a lot of walking, but we had fun.”

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