Post 90 holds reception for Boys, Girls State attendees

Published 2:24 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2023

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The Billy Glenn Rushing Post No. 90 honored local students who attended the 2023 Boys and Girls State Program during a reception at the post on Aug. 17.

The American Legion Boys and Auxiliary Girls State program was held at Troy University. Students who attend learn about how government works, how to set up cities and municipalities and other aspects.

The reception was held to allow those who attended to share their experience.

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Those who shared their experience included Jackson Haney of Flomaton High School; JT Alaniz of FHS; Helen Weber of FHS; Michael Morgan of FHS; and Serenity Mitchell of T.R. Miller High School.

For Haney, the experience was quite enriching, he said.

“The government portion was very cut throat, and there were vigorous debates,” Haney said. “The program helped me grow as a speaker.”

Haney said eventually, he wants to go into broadcasting, and his dream is to be an anchor on “SportsCenter.”

Haney said it was good to hear all the speakers come and tell good stories and give advice.

“If you decide to go to Boys State, cherish the moment,” he said.

Alaniz admitted that Boys State was definitely the opposite of what he expected.

“It was a learning experience,” he said. “The people I met were interesting.”

Alaniz said it was cool to see how the government comes together. He added that he plans on becoming a business manager when he gets older.

“The speeches were very motivational,” he said. “Thank you to the American Legion for giving me this opportunity.”

Weber said she learned a lot about government, and was encouraged by her counselors to run for the board of education.

“I had to give two speeches in front of the girls, and it helped me come out of my shell,” Weber said. “All of the girls were friendly. Overall, it was a good experience.”

Morgan said going in, he considered government as a career path.

“I really enjoyed learning about government,” Morgan said. “I saw first hand the function of the government. Thank you for letting us go up there.”

Morgan said he served in the House of Representatives, and also noted there were many good speeches.

Mitchell said she had no idea what to expect, adding that she met some other girls there and in their city, became a family.

“We talked about ACT tips, college and future plans,” Mitchell said. “We learned so much about government.”

Mitchell added that they learned a lot of songs, and each city made its own chant.

“It was amazing,” she said.

Mitchell recalled when they visited the Alabama Supreme Court. She said she got to try on a robe and banged the gavel.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity,” she said.

Students who attended the program, but weren’t present for the reception included Escambia Academy’s Eli Covington, Patrick Byrd and Timothy Doerr; Escambia County’s Paul Martin and Stephen Williams; and Jackson Newton of FHS.