Boys, Girls State attendees recognized at Legion

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Nine area high school juniors participated at Alabama Boys and Girls State in Tuscaloosa over the summer.

Atmore’s American Legion Post No. 90 paid for all expenses to the trip, and recognized each at a ceremony on Aug. 23.

For Boys State, students from across the state are chosen based on their demonstration of leadership, hard work, strong morals and motivation in school and community activities, according to the Boys State website. Boys State week is a full and active week held on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

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At Boys State, student delegates find the opportunity to build new friendships, participate in a mock government, and hear from and meet a diverse array of Alabama leaders such as Congressmen, state elected officials, business leaders, civic leaders and others.

The American Legion Auxiliary’s marquee Girls State program is one of the most respected and coveted experiential learning programs presented in the United States, according to the Girls State website.

The program epitomizes the ALA’s mission to honor those who have brought us our freedom through our enduring commitment to develop young women as future leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism.

Each participant spoke about what each learned while on the trip.

The following are excerpts from each of the students’ speeches:

Christiara Jones

Escambia County

“Thank you American Legion for funding the trip. It was amazing. If I could do it again, I would.”

Jones said she learned about patriotism, how to fold the American Flag and made a lot of friends.

McKenzie Faulk – Flomaton

“I ran for one thing, but didn’t get it. It didn’t get me down because you’ve got to try, try, try again and if you fail, try again.”

Faulk said she rain for probate judge as well.

I just want to thank the American Legion,” she said. “This was the best experience I have been in. It opened my eyes up to how women can have a role in politics.”

Anna Grace Janes

Escambia Academy

“On the first day of Girls State, everybody was nervous,” Janes said. “I ran for city clerk.”

Janes said she loved listening to Atmore native and Alabama Chief Justice Lyn Stuart, along with Gov. Kay Ivey.

Nicholas Jackson


“I was elected as the fire chief of my city,” he said. “I learned a lot about government, and how politics work.”

Adonis Williams


“It taught me that I’m not ready to leave home… yet,” Williams said. “It was great meeting new friends, and I learned more about government.”

Williams said his favorite part was when he went to Bryant-Denny Stadium.

William O’Bannon


“Thank you to my school and the American Legion for this opportunity,” he said.

O’Bannon said he ran for the rules committee, and met a bunch of new friends.

Lue Williams


“I just want to thank the American Legion, and the men and women who served here,” he said. “I learned a lot about the different positions in government.”

Williams said he got to meet new people.

Sam Martin


“Thank you American Legion for the trip,” Martin said. “I learned a lot.”

All of the things I learned I’m going to apply to my college and professional life.

EA’s Jace Daniels went to Boys State as well, but transferred to another school.