The Following Boys Were Selected as Delegates by Post 281 to Attend the 2015 Session of Jersey Boys State Held at Rider University Each Year:
Zachary Billingham - Triton High School
Tyrus Legenski - Triton High School
Michael Ricciardelli - Triton High School
Jake Koester - Timber Creek High School
James Lyon - Timber Creek High School
Jeff Crisanti - Timber Creek High School
Alexander Velazquez - Highland High School
Christian Scafidi - Highland High School
Tarique Mustafa - Highland High School
Congratulations to all that attended!
*Photo shown above is Bill Clinton, then a Boys Nation Delegate Meeting President John F. Kennedy
While attending “Boys Nation”
A WEEK AT AMERICAN LEGION JERSEY BOYS STATEBy Cliff Griffiths, Post 281 Chairman
Nearly 900 young men from across the State of New Jersey came together at Rider University in Lawrenceville for this year’s session. Divided equally among sixteen “cities”, the delegates received college-level, hands-on instruction on all the levels of New Jersey government.
From the election of their mayors on Monday morning, to the election of the Boys State Governor to the election of two Senators who represented New Jersey in Washington DC at American Legion Boys Nation, these boys got a unique, practical lesson in how government works, and why democracy matters.
So many things happen at Boys State. For many of these young men, it’s their first experience away from home. Add to that, their first time living in a college dormitory; their first encounter with a real electoral process (complete with voting machines graciously donated by the Mercer County Board of Elections); their first time making speeches in front of large groups (sometimes as many as 850!); their first time seeing and meeting state officials, like Mayor Corey Booker of Newark, Governor Chris Christie, US Senator Robert Menendez, Congressman Leonard Lance, and Former US Attorney Chris Christie and you have, as we say, “a week that shapes the future.”
In addition to serving in municipal offices like mayor and town council, the delegates also fill the offices of county freeholders, sheriffs, judges, and legislators – drafting bills and passing legislation in both their Boys State Assembly and Senate. In their “free time” they participate in a full sports program, a concert band, a choir and a daily newspaper.
Something that’s often overlooked, but that’s an integral part of Boys State, is the seminar program: each morning, the boys are obligated to attend a seminar on career opportunities. This year, more than 20 seminars were offered – on careers in public service, law enforcement, education, entertainment, real estate, law, medicine, architecture, the military, and more. The boys also got to attend a college fair, where they could meet and talk with representatives from nearly 100 colleges and universities.
On Thursday, the boys elect a Boys State Governor and Lieutenant and on Friday they elect 2 boys to attend Boys Nation Senators to attend Boys Nation in Washington, D.C. in July.
Director David Bagatelle, a Boys State delegate in 1981 (from Post 174 in Wayne) and a member of SAL Squadron 415 in Saddle Brook completed his tenth year as Director (and his 33rd year on the Boys State staff). This year he led a staff of more than100 strong who donates a week of their time to the young men who are the future of New Jersey.For more information on the Boys State program or the New Jersey Boys State Foundation, or to volunteer for the staff, visit the Jersey Boys State website at www.aljbs.org.