Elmhurst mayor recognizes 3 York students for participation in American Legion Boys State Youth Camp
At the Elmhurst City Council meeting on July 17, Elmhurst Mayor Scott Levin recognized three local boys for their participation at this year's American Legion "Boys State" Youth Camp.
This program is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for U.S. high school students.
This camp is held the summer prior to a student's senior year of high school. The effort to honor these boys was brought to the mayor's attention by newly elected 7th Ward Alderman Rex Irby, whose ward includes the Elmhurst American Legion Post 187.
The students will be seniors at York High School this fall.
Elmhurst American Legion Post 187 sponsored the associated costs of the boys to attend which occurred on the campus of Eastern Illinois University.
This effort was coordinated by Elmhurst American Legion member Eric Pulia, who is an Army and Air Force veteran.
"Kids need a positive outlet in today's world, especially having just lived through the social isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic," adding "this camp allows the participants to meet other high school juniors from around the state, compete for scholarships, and improve their social skills as they prepare for college."
Each participant was presented with a mayoral proclamation by Mayor Levin.
This is an all-expenses paid experience and activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law-enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, choruses and recreational programs.
These programs teach participants to become knowledgeable of the democratic process and how our republic form of government works at the state and national levels.
They also complete a mock student government with campus-wide elections for governor.
Graduating from either camp is the equivalent of attaining Eagle Scout for college applications.
Boys State programs vary from state to state but each adheres to the same basic concept: teaching government from the city to the state level. Two participants from each Boys State program are selected to go on and participate as senators at Boys Nation in Washington, D.C.
A fun fact: Bill Clinton is an alumnus of Boys State (Arkansas) where he was elected senator as a youth and met John F. Kennedy.
All participants are also eligible to compete for a many number of scholarships including the Samsung Scholarship, the Essay Scholarship, and the Oration Scholarship.
The sister program entitled "Girls State" that is also held at Eastern Illinois University each year, organized through the American Legion Auxiliary.
Unfortunately, the Elmhurst American Legion Auxiliary were unable to find an interested participant this year, but are hopeful for subsequent years.