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Now in its 83rd year, the American Legion Boys’ State program is accepting applications for 2018.

Boys’ State will be held May 27 – June 1 in Portales.

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 nonpartisan lens.

“The American Legion believes our government is not only strengthened by teaching today’s youth to understand and appreciate the democratic process,” said Denise Rohan, 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 responsibility as an elected or appointed official. Enrollment fees are paid by the American Legion posts, business, and other civic organizations.

Former delegates who have participated in Boys’ State programs across the country over the years continue to inspire current students to apply. Past graduates include Bill Clinton, Michael Jordan, Jon Bon Jovi, Tom Brokaw, and former U.S. Peace Corps director Gaddi Vasquez, to name a few.

“The college application landscape remains incredibly competitive,” said Steven Navarette, director of New Mexico’s Boys’ State program. “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.”

For more information on Boys’ State and how to apply, contact Kenneth Hart, 513-4105 or [email protected] Complete details on the program can be found at nmboysstate.org.