Warsaw Students Step Up For Missouri Boys, Girls State


Warsaw’s soon-to-be senior class has stepped up this year by going to Missouri Boys State and Missouri Girls State. The goal of the program is to cultivate leadership and citizenship for juniors in high school and teach them about American politics. This includes participating in fields students are interested in, such as Communication/Media, Business, Law Enforcement, Education, and others. Students also set up a mock government. In addition, students may be ambitious enough to set up their businesses, enforce their laws, and even investigate devious schemes such as money laundering and ransoms.

Ashlynn Adams, one of the students attending the event, said that she believed they would have the opportunity to attend a few assemblies that feature speakers who have practical experience in government.

The American Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary, and the Sons of the American Legion all help send high school students so that they can attend debt-free. The associations have been sending students for at least twenty to thirty years.

When asked about the skills and values he hopes participants will learn during their time there, Warsaw’s American Legion Commander Barry White states that he hopes students will “learn how to be leaders by being followers” by respecting authority and learning how to be productive citizens, hone the ability to communicate by working in small groups, and to “cooperate across the aisle” with those they may not see eye-to-eye with.

He also suggests that students get involved in local politics by attending Warsaw city council or school board meetings.

As the program has grown and more applicants have shown an interest in attending Girls and Boys State, local non-profits have helped contribute to sending students as well, a trend White is hoping will encourage more community participation.

This year, students attending The American Legion Boys State of Missouri include Jaxson Deckard, Logan Gemes, Elijah Long, Drake Murrell and Gabriel Wassman. Logan Campbell, Jayden Culbertson and Christian Culbertson were chosen as alternates to attend.

Ashlynn Adams, Tatum Bohl, Paige Collier, Brooklyn Jackman, Madison Lawrence, Marissa Ricke and Heather Terry were selected to attend The American Legion Girls State of Missouri.

When asked what she looked forward to the most, Adams said, “I am very interested in attending the School of Journalism and media for my school of instruction because I think it would be very interesting to see firsthand how media can impact voters and our government.”

Jaxson Deckard said that he signed up for Boys State because he was interested in a potential career in politics and would like to see an inside view of how the government operates.

In addition, Deckard is applying for Boys Nation and is considering applying for Governor of Missouri Boys State during the event. Students this year are excited to learn about their government, their responsibilities as citizens, and investigate how their talents and interests fit into American society.