Six local Santa Clarita Valley students were selected to attend American Legion California’s Boys State program, a week-long program in which high school boys are taught about American politics by participating as if they were political leaders, at California State University, Sacramento.
Those who were chosen are Mohamed Aboul-Saoud from Golden Valley High School, Patrick Done from Hart High School, Kaden Devoe from Canyon High School, Siddharth Sudan from West Ranch High School, Josh Kim from West Ranch High School and Bryce Blaugrund from West Ranch High School.
The boys were sought out for their academic achievements by their school counselors and put through the ringer in an intense interview process by the American Legion Post 507 before being selected to attend Boys State.
“I’m so glad that I got the opportunity and I would like to thank the American Legion for sponsoring me and allowing me to go,” said Blaugrund. “It has taught me so much about how our state government works and how to participate in it.”
Boys State members are defined by the American Legion as those who illustrate leadership, character, scholarship, loyalty and service in their schools and community.
The boys selected were able to discuss political matters and propose regulations on matters such as infrastructure, taxes, gun rights, the burning of the American flag and education.
They participated in the mock government with roles such as an attorney, councilman, mayor, business owner, executive producer of a news station, a police officer and others.
“I feel that the program really prepares the youth of America to lead,” said Sudan.
Boys State allowed for these individuals to learn more about the American political system by doing, rather than by textbook.
Done also credits the program for teaching the youth what it means to be an American, a big part of that being innovation.
All the boys collectively said that their main takeaway from this experience was how to work with a team and be a leader when designated.