Three seniors selected to Keystone Boys State
Three Upper St. Clair High School students were among the 26 from Allegheny County selected to participate in Keystone Boys State, which was held June 19-15, 2016, at Shippensburg University. Emerging seniors Tyler Clark, Alexander Yerina and Steven Yerina attended the week-long civic leadership program organized by the American Legion Department of Pennsylvania.
A total of 237 rising high school seniors attended the KBS program this year. Students had the opportunity to learn about leadership, state and local government, and civic participation.
Boys State was founded in 1935 by two Illinois Legionnaires to teach young men about the rights, privileges and responsibilities of American citizens. The program focuses on hands-on participation in simulated city, county and state governments. Operated by students elected to various offices, KBS activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law-enforcement presentations, a band and recreational programs.
“The young men who attended KBS this year exceeded our high expectations. Through participation in a simulation of the political process, they are presented with the problems facing communities across Pennsylvania and learn to compromise and collaborate to solve them. I have full faith that they will take these lessons home with them inspired to solve those problems for real,” said KBS Director Jacques Weedon.
The simulated city councils and state legislature of this year’s program passed legislation fighting poverty, improving public schools, reducing urban blight and incentivizing innovation—all challenges facing Pennsylvania.
The program has produced notable alumni that include President Bill Clinton; Adm. Jon Greenert, chief of naval operations; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito; Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker; astronaut Neil Armstrong; noted national news anchor Tom Brokaw; businessman and former basketball player Michael Jordan; and entertainer Jon Bon Jovi, among others.
“Over the years, Boys State has produced a long line of outstanding individuals who are leaders in their communities and have made exceptional contributions to our nation. KBS has graduates who are doctors, educators, military leaders, elected representatives, and businessmen. The success of our graduates is a testament to the power of this week and the work of the American Legion to strengthen the core values and institutions of the United States,” said Darren Fossett, KBS dean and 2006 alumni.
This year’s attendance was the largest in more than a decade. The program is free to participants, who receive a sponsorship from their local American Legion Post.