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Local students off to Boys and Girls State

By Staff | May 31, 2015

Blue Earth Area’s Boys and Girls State student representatives (left to right) Adam Buseman, Lacey Benz, Sophia Rotterman, Shayna Stevermer and Chandler Kienitz.

For most students, the beginning of summer means vacation time, but for a select few in Faribault County, it is time to get down to government business.

Students from Blue Earth Area High School and United South Central High School have been chosen by the local American Legion posts of Blue Earth, Wells, Easton, Bricelyn and Kiester to represent the area in the American Legion Boys State and American Legion Auxiliary Girls State programs.

This year, BEAHS juniors Adam Buseman and Chandler Kienitz will be representing Blue Earth Area for Boys State, while Corey Ehlert and Justin Ramaker will be representing USC.

Juniors Lacey Benz, Sophia Rotterman, and Shayna Stevermer will be representing Blue Earth Area for Girls State, as Leah Johnson and Kia Legred represent USC.

Boys and Girls State are week-long ventures to learn about local, county, and state government. More than 400 other chosen students across Minnesota will also be attending these prestigious events.

United South Central's Boys and Girls State students (left to right) are Justin Ramaker, Corey Ehlert, Kia Legred and Leah Johnson.

Girls State this year is held at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul from June 7-12. American Legion Auxiliary Girls State is focused on teaching young women responsible citizenship.

The selected boys will be heading to Boys State June 14-20 at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.

The Girls State program began in 1937 and nearly one million young people have had the opportunity to learn, first-hand, how their state and local governments work.

Participants will engage in learning about the function of Minnesota’s government in preparation for their future adult citizens.

Ultimately, two girls will be selected from each state program to attend Girls Nation, a week long government training program held in Washington, D.C., where they have the opportunity to meet the President of the United States in the White House.

Lacey Benz mentioned her excitement at the opportunity.

“I think it’s a great honor to be chosen by our teachers and American Legion posts to be able to go to this event,” says Benz, “I’m really excited about it.”

Leah Johnson also shared her enthusiasm for the trip.

“It’s going to be a good opportunity for all of us,” she said.

Boys State has been a program of the American Legion since 1935 and is among the most respected educational programs of government instruction for high school students.

The Boys State participants will be exposed to the rights and privileges, the duties and responsibilities of a franchised citizen.

It is Minnesota Boys State’s earnest hope that each young man attending will return to his community a better citizen and have aroused in them a desire to demonstrate that fact by their willingness to make civic contributions that will help to make their community a better place in which to live.

Activities at Boys State include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, chorus and other recreational programs.

Adam Buseman, one of the chosen young male representatives for BEAHS, showed great gratitude for his being chosen for the opportunity.

“I think it will be really interesting to see what goes on,” says Buseman. “It’s a great opportunity.”