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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 30, 2015
Local Student Graduates from American Legion Boys State, Department of Texas
One of 1,004 future leaders that assembled for the prestigious program
Spent week at University of Texas learning about government
AUSTIN, Tex. – The American Legion, Department of Texas today announced that Michael Collum of McKinney Christian Academy has graduated from American Legion Boys State, Department of Texas, better known simply as Texas Boys State.
Begun in 1935, Boys State is a unique program that educates future leaders about government, civics, and patriotism in a “learn by doing” environment. Each delegate has just finished his junior year of high school and was hand-picked by teachers, counselors, and local American Legion posts throughout Texas to attend this one week seminar.
During the week, the delegates were evenly split into fictional parties of the Nationalist and Federalists and divided into 12 cities. Each party drafted party platforms, elected party officials, nominated candidates via primary elections, and contested a general election against the rival party and its candidates. The delegates ran for many kinds of offices including state, district, county, and city offices. The highlight of the week for those elected to the Texas Boys State House of Representative and Senate was when they were seated in the chambers of the Texas Capitol and allowed to craft, debate, and vote on mock legislation.
Michael Collum served on his city’s platform committee, and was elected as County Surveyor. Important issues they listed on their policy platform included transportation reform, veteran benefits reform, water conservation, and education reform including better teacher pay and STAR testing reform.
This year the delegates heard from more than 50 distinguished speakers, ranging from State Representatives Doc Anderson, Larry Gonzales, Phil Stephenson, Paul Workman, Ron Simmons, David Simpson, Dennis Paul, and Bill Zedler, Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeff Brown, Democratic Party strategist and TV commentator Harold Cook, Republican Party strategist Ted Delisi, Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Kevin Yeary, and many more.
Students came from all over Texas. Two representatives from Boys State will go on to represent Texas at the Boys State Nation July 17-24.
For more information on Boys State, visit www.TexasBoysState.com.