• Long Beach Breeze

Local American Legion Post 1995 sends scholars to Boys’ State

Special to Long Beach Breeze

Boys' State

The Donnie Levens American Legion Post 1995 in Long Beach has the distinct honor of sending eight young scholars from the Mississippi Gulf Coast to Ole Miss to attend Boys' State in 2021. Scholars selected include Jake Baleyev, Joseph Cruz, Jacob Holland and Samuel Shirk of Long Beach High school; Robert Zastrow and James Barr of West Harrison High School; and Jackson Crusan and Haden Cuevas of Pass Christian High School.

The American Legion is dedicated to strengthening America, believing there is no better way to this end than to work with the nation’s youth in order to prepare them for the tasks they will face in the years to come. The American Legion, through its youth activities programs, plays a leading role in the development of tomorrow’s informed, responsible citizens. The American Legion’s programs of Boys State and Boys Nation are examples of the organization’s citizenship instructions for youth.

The purpose of Boys State is to identify young leaders and instill in them constructive attitudes toward the American form of government. The program attempts to show that democracy needs an intelligent citizenry and a moral, honest, and impartial administration responsive to the people.

Delegates not only will be required to review knowledge already acquired concerning the political machinery of state and local government, but they will find themselves performing exactly the same functions as real office holders in the everyday world. Every delegate to Boys State will hold elective office. Delegates learn the duties of various city, county, and state officials and introduce and argue bills in their own legislature. Each citizen will have the opportunity to learn for himself that his government is exactly what he makes it.

The entire program is non-partisan. Problems will be considered without reference to existing political parties and will be free from propaganda. The sole purpose is to enable the delegate to grasp the meaning and responsibilities which he will be called upon to assume when he becomes an adult. The selection and assignments of citizens to parties is in no way connected to existing political parties in Mississippi. Boys State “political parties” are called “Nationalist,” Federalist” and “Independents.” They are purely mythical, and none of the principles typifying any of the existing parties will be adopted. In this way, organizers try to assure a democratic government in its purest sense.

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