The American Legion Mountaineer Boys State was held June 7-13, 2015 at West Virginia University Jackson’s Mill. Students took part in creating the 51st State to the Union. Founded in 1936, the goal of The American Legion Mountaineer Boys State (ALMBS) is to educate and train youth in understanding one of the country’s most precious freedoms; the democratic form of government. ALMBS is characterized as “West Virginia’s premier school of Americanism, Citizenship and Leadership!” West Virginia proudly holds the 2nd oldest American Legion Boys State charter in the nation.
ALMBS is sponsored by the nation’s largest wartime veteran’s service organization – The American Legion. The American Legion is committed to mentoring and sponsorship of youth programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting a strong national security and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans – these are known as the Four Pillars of The American Legion: Veterans, Americanism, Youth and Defense. This year 387 young men participated in the weeklong program from throughout the 55 Counties of West Virginia.
The American Legion Boys State is a nationwide honors program developed to expose its participants to the rights, privileges, duties and responsibilities of a franchised Citizen. This summer leadership academy is objective and practical with city, county and state governments operated by the “Citizens” elected to the various activities. Activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, chorus, and recreational programs. In order to attend ALMBS, “Citizens” had to have completed their junior year in high school, be in the top of their class academically, demonstrate leadership ability, recommended by their local High School and selected by their local American Legion Post.
Participants receive many benefits from this “Week that shapes a lifetime!” These benefits range from obtaining college credit, applying for scholarships, earning extra merit points towards attending the military academies, as well as, developing a diverse network of relationships across the state. Approximately 31,000 individuals have graduated from The American Legion Mountaineer Boys State in its 78 year history.
The American Legion proudly thanks those who donate to this program every year. “Citizens” can be sponsored by local businesses, individuals, or community minded organizations by contacting their local American Legion Post and letting them know they are interested in helping support the program. The cost to sponsor a young man to the program is currently $200 and recruitment efforts between January and April of each year. If it weren’t for the support of communities throughout the area, this program would not be as successful as it is. The American Legion salutes you!
To find out more about The American Legion Mountaineer Boys State visit us online at http://wvboysstate.org, contact your local American Legion Post, contact your local High School Guidance Counselor or The American Legion Department of West Virginia Headquarters at http://wvlegion.org. Are you ready to be part of the “Men of Tomorrow?”