Press release

The American Legion and Auxiliary Post 457 and the Big Pine Civic Club hosted a celebration of their 2015 Boys and Girls State Representatives on Monday, October 12, 2015.   Ben Truelsen and Kaylee Simpson, the 2015 Boys and Girls State representatives from Big Pine High School shared with community members what the experience meant to them, as well as what they learned at the program.


From left to right: Patty Aronson, Former Girls State Chair; Kaylee Simpson, Girls State Representative; Marilyn Mann, Girls State Chair; Ben Truelsen, Boys State Representative; and Don Castleberry, Boys State Chair.

The American Legion, which hosts Boys State, and the American Legion Auxiliary, which hosts Girls State, have been sponsoring these valuable programs since the 1930’s.  Boys and girls who have completed their junior year of high school and have demonstrated leadership qualities in their schools and communities are selected to attend this week long program that provides an opportunity for training in civic leadership.

Both Boys and Girls State offer a week-long “simulated government” immersive learning experience of “leadership, patriotism and community.”  A fictional self-governing state is developed, which includes the opportunity for girls and boys to develop political platforms, write bills for debate, run legislative sessions, while immersing themselves in city and county politics.  Participants elect leaders at the city, county and state level, with representatives selected to represent their respective states at Boys and Girls Nation.

Students participating in Boys and Girls State return to their communities, empowered and ready to lead in their own communities.  Past participants include Tom Brokaw, Bill Clinton, Neil Armstrong, former Texas Governor Ann Richards, Jane Pauley and Brigadier Generals for the United States Air Force Sharla “Kris” Cook and Michelle D. Johnson.  Additionally, past participants include leaders in our own communities, who give back to their communities daily.

The American Legion Post 457, the American Legion Auxiliary Post 457  encourage community members who would like additional information about these programs to go to or


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