FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 5, 2001
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MISSOURI BOYS STATE NAMES 2001 BOYS NATION DELEGATES
(WARRENSBURG, MO) -- Two Missouri high school students are scheduled to meet President George W. Bush in the Rose Garden as participants in The American Legion Boys Nation program this month. The American Legion Boys State of Missouri named Benjamin H. Baker of Kirksville and John D. Laskowitz of Ballwin as their 2001 delegates to the American Legion Boys Nation program to be held July 20 - 28, 2001 on the campus of Marymount University in Arlington, VA. Baker and Laskowitz were chosen from the 963 young men who attended the Missouri Boys State program during the week of June 16 - 23, 2001 at Central Missouri State University. Baker will be a senior at Kirksville High School and Laskowitz will be senior at Marquette High School during the 2001 - 2002 school year.
Both young men will participate as Senators in a mock congressional system and take a practical approach to the study and operation of our federal government, while participating in events in and around Washington, D.C. Boys State programs from around the country will send two participants each to the Boys Nation program this year.
Former President Bill Clinton credits the Boys Nation program with inspiring him to enter politics after meeting then President John F. Kennedy when he was a participant at Boys Nation in 1963. During his two terms as President, Clinton hosted the Boys Nation participants in a ceremony in the Rose Garden. The 2001 delegates are currently scheduled for a visit to the White House during their visit this month.
Two alternates were chosen to represent Missouri in the event that either of the delegates are unable to attend. The first alternate is Trent R. Taylor of Chesterfield and Michael A. Ekey of Independence was chosen second alternate. The selections for Boys Nation were made by a panel of Missouri Boys State staff members who interviewed each candidate individually. Missouri Boys State is a citizenship and leadership training program held annually in June and sponsored by the Missouri American Legion. This year marked the 62nd session of the Missouri Boys State program.