In early June, three RVHS students, Armando Davila, Maggie Godfrey and Carlee Heiling, are going to spend a week of their summer vacation learning about government. The trio of students, who are set to begin their senior year in the fall, are going to be participating in the American Legion Boys State and American Legion Auxiliary Girls State programs. The programs are June 9-15, with the boys state event held at SMSU in Marshall and the girls state activities taking place at Bethel College in St. Paul.
Boys and girls state events brings students from across the state to-gether in an environment where they learn how to function as part of a local unit of government – participating in everything from elections to meetings.
Students are taught about Americanism, patriotism and the importance of civic duty as they learn the ins and outs of public service.
Speakers come in to talk to the students about their roles in government and to help them better understand their role in the political system of America.
For Heiling, attending girls state is an opportunity to learn more about politics and the court system.
“I don’t know that much about politics,” she said, adding she hopes this experience helps her learn more. “I think it should be a lot of fun, and I hope to meet a lot of new people.”
Heiling, who is spending her senior year at SMSU in Marshall as part of the post secondary education option (PSEO), said she does follow politics a little bit.
“I like to pick sides on issues and hear what others have to say,” she said. “I like to hear different points of view and then to have a chance to argue my point.”
Godfrey said she is hoping to learn more about how government works, especially as she prepares to take government as a class her senior year at RVHS.
Godfrey added she had an aunt who took part in girls state. She told Godfrey it is a great experience, and she made some lifelong friends she met at girls state.
Godfrey said she does stay a little informed about what happens politically, but added she thinks after being at girls state she is going to take even more of an interest in politics.
Davila said he was encouraged by teachers to apply to attend boys state.
Davila said from what he has learned from past participants it sounds a lot like similar experiences held at state student council events he has attended.
Davila, who has been on the student council in high school and middle school, said he was also recently elected to serve on a divisional student council executive board and is going tobe involved in planning events similar to the ones he has attended in the past.
Page 2 of 2 - Davila is hoping his boys state experience is going to help prepare him for that leadership opportunity.
“I want to bring back some new ideas and to know more about government than I do now,” he said. I am curious about how government works.”
Davila also said he is hoping to meet new people and make friends while taking part in boys state.
He believes being better informed not only is going to help him as he serves as an RVHS student council rep and on the divisional executive board but also long after he leaves school and is involved in politics whatever that means.
“I just want to experience it and learn from it,” he said.