Congratulations to Evan Jaksha, Post 492 and Jack Fenick, Post 431, who were chosen to participate in the California Boys State being held this June at California State University, Sacramento.
American Legion Boys State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for U.S. high school students. A participatory program in which students become part of the operation of local, county and state government, Boys State was founded in 1935 to counter the socialism-inspired Young Pioneer Camps. The program was the idea of two Illinois Legionnaires, Hayes Kennedy and Harold Card, who organized the first Boys State at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.
American Legion Auxiliary sponsors a separate but similar program for young women called Girls State.
At Boys State, participants learn the rights, privileges and responsibilities of franchised citizens. The training is objective and centers on the structure of city, county and state governments. Operated by students elected to various offices, Boys State activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law-enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, choruses and recreational programs.
Legion posts select high school juniors to attend the program. In most cases, individual expenses are paid by a sponsoring post, a local business or another community-based organization. Annually during the months of February and March the Legion interviews hundreds of students from San Diego County and select 55 to attend California Boys State at California State University, Sacramento in June, 2017.
At California Boys State, the students engage in a participatory program were they become part of the operation of local, county, and state government. They will learn about the rights, privileges and responsibilities of franchised citizens. Activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law-enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, choruses and sporting programs. From there, Two representatives will be chosen to represent California at the Boys Nation in Washington, where the young leaders receive an education on the structure and function of federal government.
Boys State programs currently exist in all Legion departments in the United States except Hawaii. As separate corporations, Boys State programs vary in content and method of procedure, but each adheres to the same basic concept: teaching government from the township to the state level.