Roswell-area high school juniors are invited to participate in a weeklong program this summer that promises to provide them with skills in politics, leadership and networking.
Veterans Memorial Hall American Legion Post 28 members hope Roswell, Dexter, Hagerman and Lake Arthur students take advantage of the opportunity this year to attend Boys State and Girls State sessions.
“It gives them leadership skills to further their education,” said outgoing post commander Santiago Vasquez. “It gives them a year to build on that in their senior year, to see whether they are interested in getting into leadership and politics. And it allows them to meet other students who are leaders in their schools, too.”
With enough community support, the post will be able to send as many juniors as it can to the Portales sessions.
Nationally, American Legion Boys State began in 1935 as an educational program of government instruction for high school students. Each student becomes a part of government operation during the session.
The training is objective with city, county and state governments operated by students elected to certain offices. Activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, chorus and recreational programs, according to the American Legion web site.
This year’s New Mexico Boys State is May 26-31 and Girls State is June 2-7.
During each session, one student is selected to represent the state at the national convention in Washington, D.C., where they will meet state representatives.
“It gets students involved in getting the country going,” Vasquez said. “This is a good chance for us to get our local students involved. That’s our future.”
Students interested in the program should call the post’s vice commander Ralph Tellez at 637-3239.
Businesses or individuals interested in sponsoring students can call Tellez or post commander Orlando Padilla 317-1070.