Five LA students complete NM Boys State

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There are 138 new leaders in New Mexico on high school campuses that will take their new-found knowledge and skills into their senior year. Organization and application of governmental processes are now part of their lives.

They did these things for five days on the campus of Eastern New Mexico University at New Mexico Boys’ State.  As one young man put it, “I thought that I knew a lot about government but I didn’t really know anything until I got here.”

Five Los Alamos High School delegates, Benjamin Matsunaga, Kyle Partin, Cory Geiger, Conlan McCoy and Aaron Roybal were selected by their political party to run for office;  they then worked hard at campaigning and were elected to office. Between them they garnered seven offices, three city councilmen, two county commissioners, a district attorney and a lieutenant governorship.  Bradley Sedillo of Albuquerque was elected governor and Kyle Partin of Los Alamos was elected as lieutenant governor.

The program began at 6 a.m. and continued until 10 p.m. during the day. Full government offices were running and many appointments were made with young men who were not elected to office. These ranged from police chief to city attorney, sheriff’s deputies, cabinet secretaries, and the State Investment Council.

Senators were used to give more than administrative duties to those elected to office. One city lost its water supply. Their solution was to apply to the Governor for an emergency declaration and to seek help through a National Guard water purification unit.

For their efforts, Eastern New Mexico University has evaluated the program and awards three college credit hours of political science to each delegate that completes the program. This is done on an individual scholarship paid for by the university. Currently plans are in the works to seek through legislation a high school unit of credit as a concurrent award.

 Boys State is an American Legion program to teach civics with-a-hands on approach. It has been in New Mexico since 1948.  A program for young women is Girls’ State and is a program of the American Legion Auxiliary