• Long Beach Breeze

American Legion sponsors Boys State delegates

Pictured (l to r) are Charles Martinek, Donnie Levens American Legion Post 1996; Long Beach High School Boys State delegates David Anderson and Stokley Sawyer; Connie Tucker, LBHS Career Center; delegate Hayes Johnson; and Rachel Lacy, LBHS counselor.

Donnie Levens American Legion Post 1995 sponsors high school juniors to participate in Boys State the summer before their senior year. The delegates are selected by their counselors. The purpose of the program is to inspire and develop young leaders, instilling constructive attitudes toward the American form of government. The program provides delegates with opportunities to gain experience through action by participating in activities as elected officials, allowing them to experience the leadership responsibilities required to successfully operate and manage a city.

This year’s Long Beach delegates are David Anderson, Hayes Johnson and Stokley Sawyer; and Pass Christian delegates are Boven Cai and Randy Vu.

Eligibility for all Boys State delegates requires them to be juniors in high school, which allows the students to participate in academic, athletic, media and student council activities as a leader with a passion to serve during their senior year of high school. The Boys State program demonstrates that a democracy needs an intelligent citizenry with a moral, honest and impartial administration responsive to the will of the people.

Pictured (l to r) are Charles Martinek, Donnie Levens American Legion Post 1996; delegates Boven Cai and Randy Vu; Pass Christian High School counselors Emily Snell and Paige Cobb; and Ray Chavaree, Donnie Levens American Legion Post 1995.

Boys State operates as city, with a constitution, statutes and ordinances constructed by its delegates to govern. Participation provides delegates opportunities to gain experience in city management, daily governmental operations and budgeting. Each delegate competes for political office, participating in primary and general elections. Delegates also participate in athletic, academic and various competitive field day events. The experience is more than a classroom civics lesson; it is about experiencing competition and actively participating in government. Delegates also experience the roles of elected officials, participating in legal simulations, creating bills and debating policies following administrative procedures. In addition, Boys State offers delegates interaction with elected officials and participation in various leadership careers, including politics, broadcast media and print journalism.

Mississippi’s 2022 Boys State session will be held on the campus of the University of Mississippi from May 29 to June 4. Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia conduct a Boys State program annually, and more than 28,000 young men participate in the civic workshops each year.

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