Lindenwood University had the honor of hosting almost 1,500 high school juniors on campus for The American Legion Boys State of Missouri and the American Legion Auxiliary Missouri Girls State.
Lindenwood hosted the events for the first time after long residencies at the University of Central Missouri: 69 years for Missouri Boys State and 23 years for Missouri Girls State. Moreover, it was the first time Boys State and Girls State experienced their week of programming together.
By hosting both events simultaneously on campus, the students experienced valuable and robust programming together and broke new ground for the organizations.
Through Boys and Girls State programming, the students or “citizens,” construct their own states, learn about governmental structures, vote on key issues, and are elected to political positions. The value of public service, voting, and democracy is instilled through real-world simulations.
Numerous political candidates, journalists, and politicians presented throughout the week, including Missouri Governor Mike Parson and former U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill.
The partnership with Boys and Girls State aligns with Lindenwood’s five-year strategic plan, and particularly the Destination Lindenwood initiative. This goal seeks to transform the University and St. Charles into an engaging, vibrant college town and go-to destination for athletic, civic, and cultural events.
The week progressed successfully, ending with a joint colors ceremony, Girls and Boys State fair, fireworks display, closing ceremony, and awards presentation.
During the group closing sessions Saturday, Emily Worthmore of Mehlville High School in St. Louis and Royce Austin Haynes of Grandview High School in Hillsboro were selected to receive four years of full tuition to Lindenwood University.
Boys and Girls State are among few youth leadership programs that remain no-cost for high-school juniors through donations from Posts of The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary Units, private businesses, and service clubs throughout the state of Missouri.
Similar to Lindenwood, both Girls State and Boys State have a long history of prioritizing merit-centered, hands-on learning. All institutions prioritize advanced learning experiences in value-centered atmospheres.
“It has been an amazing week partnering with two incredible organizations. It’s not often that you get an opportunity to work so closely with organizations that share the same values and mission. The Lindenwood values of teamwork, creativity, and integrity are seen in every aspect of both programs,” Orrie Covert Vice President of Advancement and Communications reflected. “It has been an honor to be part of this week and experience what these future leaders are doing to prepare themselves for the future of our government. We are already planning and looking forward to next year!”