MANHATTAN — Approximately 420 young men from across the State of Kansas, all of whom will be entering their senior year of high school this fall, are anticipated to participate in the 2019 session of the American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy. The event, in its 82nd year, is underway through Friday, June 7, at Kansas State University in Manhattan.
One of the attendees is Levi Hickert, a student at Hays High School.
The ALBSKLA is for young men who will enter their senior year of high school in the fall of 2019. It provides a relevant, interactive, problem-solving experience in leadership and teamwork that develops self-identity, promotes mutual respect and instills civic responsibility. Boys State is a “learning by doing” political exercise that simulates elections, political parties and government at the state, county and local levels, providing opportunities to lead under pressure, showcasing character and working effectively within a team. It’s also an opportunity to gain pride and respect for government and the price paid by members of the military to preserve democracy.
- Sunday, June 2
o Opening Ceremonies, 2:45 p.m., McCain Auditorium
- Keynote speaker: Alejandro Rangel-Lopez, 2018 Kansas Boys State delegate from Dodge City High School and 2019 graduate of DCHS. Rangel-Lopez, who will serve as a KBS departments counselor for this year’s session, was a plaintiff in a voting rights lawsuit in October 2018 against the Ford County (Kan.) when it was announced the only voting site in Dodge City the following month would be at a location outside the city limits.
- Monday, June 3
o Swearing in of KBS mayors, 7 p.m., Assembly Area (Marlatt Hall parking lot [northeast of building on Claflin Road])
o Party Caucuses, 7:45 to 10:15 p.m., Cardwell Hall, Room 101 (Federalist Party [considered to be the more conservative party]), and Umberger Hall, Room 105 (Nationalist Party [considered to be the more liberal party]) — Each party will select their candidates for the six state offices and formulate their party platforms. This is not open to the public.
- Tuesday, June 4
o KBS National Guard training at Fort Riley, Kan., 8:45 to 11:30 a.m. This is not open to the public.
o KBS Governor candidates’ debate, 1 to 2 p.m., Wefald Hall
o Announcement of KBS general election winners for state offices and swearing in ceremony, 7 p.m., Assembly Area
- Wednesday, June 5
o KBS Governor’s Inaugural Address, Talent Show and keynote speaker, Adrion Roberson, 7:15 p.m., McCain Auditorium
- Roberson is on the core teaching team at the Kansas Leadership Center based in Wichita as a facilitator of adaptive thinking competencies for the purpose of helping individuals make progress in/on daunting challenges. He also serves as co-pastor of Berean Fellowship Church in Kansas City, Kan.
- Thursday, June 6
o Flag Retirement Ceremony, 7:15 p.m., World War II Memorial in front of McCain Auditorium
o KBS Band and Chorus Concerts, followed by Boys Nation candidates’ speeches, 7:45 p.m., McCain Auditorium
- Friday, June 7
o Closing Ceremonies, noon to 2 p.m., McCain Auditorium
- Announcement of Boys Nation senators
- Announcement of Outstanding Citizens from each KBS city
The American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy is an interactive simulation 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 levels. After the elections, participants find out firsthand the difficult decisions made daily by those in government through a series of challenging simulations. Delegates, nominated to attend by their high school counselors and other influential people in their lives, are sponsored by American Legion posts and various civic organizations from across the state. All delegates demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities in student government, athletics and/or other activities.
The Boys State program was founded by Legionnaires Hayes Kennedy and Harold Card in Illinois in 1935, and was first held in Kansas two years later in Wichita. The Kansas program moved to the University of Kansas in Lawrence in 1963 and remained there until 1991. The following year, it moved to its current location at Kansas State University in Manhattan. For more information about the American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy, visit http://kansasboysstate.com/ or http://ksbstate.org/.
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