FHS Students attend Texas Boys State

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One of 1,100 future leaders that assembled for the prestigious program spent week at University of Texas learning about government

by Dayna Owen

Three students from Friendswood High School, Paul Birmingham, Jacob Vegas, and J.C. Mills attended American Legion Boys State, better known simply as Texas Boys State at the University of Texas in Austin this past week .

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. 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. Those elected to the House of Representatives and Senate spent the week drafting, debating, and passing bills on a wide range of social and economic issues.

Three boys from FHS attended Texas Boys’ State at UT in Austin this past week, Paul Birmingham, Jacob Vegas, and J.C. Mills (left to right). J.C. will be representing Texas at Boys Nation July 21-29.

This year the delegates heard from more than 40 distinguished guest speakers, ranging from Texas Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick and State Board of Education member Tom Maynard, to several state legislators and former San Antonio Mayor Ed Garza.

On Thursday, June 15, Texas Boys State enjoyed a parade from the University of Texas at Austin campus to the Texas State Capitol, where they toured the building and dropped in on their hometown representatives’ offices.

For more information on Boys State, visit www.TexasBoysState.com.