Now in its 73rd year, The American Legion Boys State program is accepting applications for 2020. Boys State will be held June 7–12 , in Helena.
The American Legion Boys State is a unique summertime educational program for boys entering their senior year of high school. The program focuses on participation and personal experience in a model state, complete with governmental bodies and elected public officials. It is designed to mirror the structure and operation of state government while providing training in practical citizenship, leadership and character through a non-partisan lens.
“The American Legion believes our government is only strengthened by teaching today’s youth to understand and appreciate the democratic process,” said Brett Reistad, National Commander of The American Legion. “It’s programs like The American Legion Boys State that help America remain strong and ensure our freedom for future generations.”
The American Legion Boys State program consists of classroom work, lectures and hands-on activities that promote learning by doing. Each participant is known as a “citizen” and becomes an integral part of the process assuming specific responsibilities as an elected or appointed official. Enrollment fees are paid by The American Legion posts, businesses or other civic organizations.
Former delegates that participated in The American Legion Boys State programs across the country over the years continue to inspire current students to apply. Past graduates that went on to have a career in the public eye include President Bill Clinton, athlete Michael Jordan, rock star Jon Bon Jovi, news personality Tom Brokaw, and former U.S. Peace Corps director Gaddi Vasquez, to name a few.
“The college application landscape remains incredibly competitive,” said Greg Pohle, director of The American Legion Boys State program in Montana. “High school students are looking for extracurricular activities that can help them develop skills and experience that will stand out in the crowd. Selection in The American Legion Boys State is a testimony to the character and leadership of each participant and is an experience recognized by employers, U.S. service academies and university admissions boards.”