Butler County Times Gazette
  • Towner attends American Legion Boys State of Kansas

  • Towner one of 470 boys to attend Boys State
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  • Breck Towner recently returned from the American Legion Boys State of Kansas held June 1 to 7 on the campus of Kansas State University in Manhattan.
    Towner, who will be a senior at El Dorado High School in the fall, was one of 470 boys who attended the week-long government and leadership program.
    During the program, Towner was a member of the city of Shelton, in Powell County, and held the position of Representative.
    While taking part in Boys State activities, Towner was appointed to the position of Highway Patrol. As part of his responsibilities in this role, Towner got to participate in many realistic yet fun activities, including a trip to the State House in Topeka.
    The Boys State program consists of an interactive stimulation that teaches high school seniors-to-be the value of democracy and civic duty. Participants form mock governments and campaign for positions at the city, county and state level. After the elections, students find out first-hand the difficult decisions made daily by those in government through a series of challenging simulations.
    throughout the week, the delegates also heard from many influential speakers. This year’s keynote address was delivered by University of Kansas Head Men’s B basketball Coach Bill Self. Other speakers included Appellate Court Judge Joe Pierron, Kansas State Senator Michael O’Donnell and Dr. Stephanie Kelton, chair of the Department of Economics at UMKC.
    Delegates are sponsored by American Legion posts from all over Kansas as well as various civic organizations. All delegates demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities in student government, athletics or other activities and were nominated to attend by school counselors and influential people in their lives. Nominations for next year’s session can be submitted online via the Kansas State Boys Web site at www.kansasboysstate.org.
    The Boys State program was founded by the American Legion in 1935 in the state of Illinois to promote and teach the ideals of democracy. In the 78 years since, the program has spread to 49 states. The first session of Kansas Boys State was held in 1937 at Wichita University (now Wichita State University). Each year, two delegates from each state are selected to attend Boys Nation, held annually in Washington, D.C.
    Famous alumni of the program include former President Bill Clinton, Vice President Richard Cheney, astronaut Neil Armstrong and professional athlete Michael Jordan. Kansas alumni include Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, U.S. Ambassador and former CEO of National Public Radio Delano Lewis, former Kansas Governor John Carlin and Ajit Pai, a commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission.
    The American Legion is an organization of veterans who have bravely served our country in times of war. They work to promote and defend the values of democracy and freedom in all facets of American life. The American Legion Auxiliary hosts the American Legion Girls State program.
    Page 2 of 2 - For more information, visit www.kansasboysstate.org.

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