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Students selected for Boys and Girls State were: front row, left to right, Jacob Esser, Brooke Bell, Christin Simpkins, Claire Dawe and Scott Brantley; back row, left to right, Austin Cunningham, Rodrick Felder, Ben Hubert, Nate Smith and Tristan Portwood. Not shown is Tripp Vickery.
Students selected for Boys and Girls State were: front row, left to right, Jacob Esser, Brooke Bell, Christin Simpkins, Claire Dawe and Scott Brantley; back row, left to right, Austin Cunningham, Rodrick Felder, Ben Hubert, Nate Smith and Tristan Portwood. Not shown is Tripp Vickery.

11 named to Boys, Girls State

Published 10:30am Saturday, April 19, 2014

Eleven area high school students were honored Monday, after being chosen to attend Alabama Boys State and Alabama Girls State in the summer.

The eight boys and three girls were recognized publicly during Monday’s meeting of the Atmore City Council at Atmore City Hall. Noah McBride, a member of the American Legion Post 90, introduced the boys, and Linda Gates, a member of the American Legion Post 90 Ladies Auxiliary, introduced the girls.

Christin Simpkins, Ben Hubert and Rodrick Felder were selected from Escambia County High School; Claire Dawe, Scott Brantley and Nate Smith were selected from Escambia Academy; Brooke Bell, Tripp Vickery and Jacob Esser were selected from Flomaton High School; and Austin Cunningham and Tristan Portwood were selected from Northview High School.

Boys and Girls State are programs sponsored each year by the American Legion and American Legion Ladies Auxiliary. Students are selected to attend a multi-day program at an Alabama university, where they learn citizenship and leadership skills.

The students each play a role in a mock “government” during their week at Boys or Girls State. One student gets to become the “state governor,” another becomes the “lieutenant governor,” and so on. Participants fill a variety of roles at the city, county and state levels, giving them a unique hands-on experience with government in all its forms.

“This is a fine program,” Atmore Mayor Jim Staff said. “The young people always come back with a lot of new knowledge, and it really helps open their eyes to how our government works.”

Boys State will be held June 1 through June 7, at The University of Alabama. Girls State is June 8 through June 13, also at The University of Alabama.

McBride and Gates thanked the sponsors of this year’s program, which include Atmore Mayor Jim Staff, Atmore city council member Susan Smith, Century Mayor Freddie McCall, Flomaton Mayor Dewey Bondurant, United Bank, Escambia River Electric Cooperative, First National Bank & Trust, Poarch Creek Endowment and Flomaton Escambia County Bank.

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