Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) will host Oklahoma Boys State for the 29th consecutive year beginning Saturday, May 23 – Saturday, May 30, 2015. The college will again welcome key players on the state’s political frontier who will speak at Oklahoma Boys State. Approximately 500 students are expected to attend Boys State. Students from across the state will travel to NEO to participate in the week-long event. “Boys State is recognized as the most respected youth leadership program in the nation. The event provides an experience for a young man that is unlike any other,” Hale said. “The value that Boys State places on patriotism and honoring our democracy has made the event a welcome addition to our campus each year. NEO is proud to host such a storied leadership program for nearly three decades.”
For one week, NEO will become the State Capitol as Boys State participants run a mock government. The high school seniors will run for elected offices, ranging from the mayor of a city to the state’s governor. The purpose of the program is to teach the principles of government, leadership and patriotism. Confirmed speakers include: Gov. Mary Fallin, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, Major General Robbie Asher, Okla. Adjutant General, Director Darrell Weaver, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, Rear Admiral Doug McClain, United States Navy (Retired) and others.
About Boys State According to the organization’s website, Okla. Boys State is offered by the Okla. American Legion and was founded in 1935 to combat the rising ideals of communism in the United States and to allow young men to understand the freedoms associated with being an American. At Boys State, participants learn the rights, privileges and responsibilities of franchised citizens. The training is objective and centers on the structure of city, county and state governments.
Operated by students elected to various offices, Boys State activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law-enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, choruses and recreational programs. Legion posts select high-school juniors to attend the program. In most cases, individual expenses are paid by a sponsoring post, a local business or another community-based organization. Boys State programs currently exist in all Legion departments except Hawaii. As separate corporations, Boys State programs vary in content and method of procedure, but each adheres to the same basic concept: teaching government from the township to the state level. Those who attend Boys State at NEO were selected by either their local American Legion post or their high school. Many who have completed Boys State in the past will return to provide guidance as counselors. Boys State participants will also have the opportunity to earn up to three hours of college credit from NEO.