“The American Legion sponsored Boys State and Girls State programs provide an environment to nurture leadership skills in many young men and women each year,” Boy/Girl State Coordinator Bill Wagoner said for American Legion Lebron Post 58 in Guthrie.
Wagoner went on to say, “This year we hope to send a total of 14 deserving students from the junior classes of Guthrie, Crescent and Orlando High Schools to this intensive, fun and rewarding week-long program which focuses on civic duty and citizenship”.
Katy Anderson, daughter of Barry and Wendy Anderson, attended Girls State last year and offered this perspective.
“It is a great opportunity to be involved in leadership and team building activities in a fun atmosphere. We learned about how civic organizations work, the challenges of establishing priorities and the process of building consensus”.
Katy, an admitted introvert, continued, “Living on campus with lots of other young women; learning, leading, and sharing, was a super experience and offered a chance to develop new relationships”.
The group heard presentations by Governor Mary Fallin and many other experts in city and state government.
Cody Reihs, son of Shawn and Creedence Reihs, attended Boys State last year and offered the following, “This is a fantastic opportunity to better understand government at the local, regional and state level. It is neat to hear from state congressmen and leadership experts and to be involved in a “participative learning lab” where you learn by doing. And it is fun too!”
Cody noted that former Governor George Nigh spoke at length to the young mens group.
“The experience of being involved in mock congressional sessions educated me about the issues of the day, taught me about conducting meetings, and how to develop networking and team building skills”.
The cost of sending these high school juniors to this terrific experience is $200 for each young woman and $175 for each young man. Myrl Waggoner, Second Vice Commander of the American Legion Post, notes, “It is a significant cost to the Post but we consider it an investment in our future, an investment in the future leadership of our communities, county and state”.
The Post is accepting contributions to help defray these costs. Contributions to this “investment in our future” may be sent to LeBron Post 58, PO Box 69, Guthrie, OK 73044. For more information on this great program please call Bill or Myrl at (405) 282-2589.