Five Warwick Valley High School students who represented Nicholas P. Lesando, Jr., Warwick American Legion Post 214 at this summer’s Boys’ State program at Morrisville State College near Syracuse recently recounted their experience to their sponsoring local veterans.
They gave glowing and sometimes humorous reflections of their week-long program that immerses high school students in citizenship and leadership training with a taste of military discipline.
Post 214 annually sponsors three students. This year the Warwick Valley Rotary Club and Post 214 Vice Commander Tony Cosimano donated funds to sponsor two additional WVHS representatives to Boys’ State.
Attendees learn the practical aspects of government, run for local and state offices, and participate in physical activities under the guidance of American Legion counselors and U.S. Marines.
Approximately 1,100 delegates from throughout New York participated in the Boys’ State convocation at Morrisville State College near Syracuse.
Boys’ State is primarily a leadership action program in which top high school juniors participate in a course in practical government. Delegates join a political party and elect officials to all levels of government -- from town and county to state legislature and the judiciary.
Delegates leave with a working knowledge of governmental organization and the idea that good government depends on active participation.
WVHS Guidance Counselor Mary Fox and Legionnaire Mike Eckert coordinated the delegate selection.
Prominent graduates of Boys’ State include presidents George W. Bush, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton.