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"MBS was a great experience. I learned a lot about government and met a lot of friends who I will hopefully keep for a lifetime."

-- Kent Thomas Buxton '04
Cape Girardeau, MO

Press Release

June 23, 2003

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(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 Eric A. Kafka of St. Louis County and Ryan C. Rowan of Raytown as their 2003 delegates to the American Legion Boys Nation program to be held July 18 - 26, 2003 on the campus of Marymount University in Arlington, VA. Kafka and Rowan were chosen from the 947 young men who attended the Missouri Boys State program during the week of June 14 - 21, 2003 at Central Missouri State University. Kafka will be a senior at Parkway North High School during the 2003-04 school year and was sponsored at Missouri Boys State by the Creve Coeur American Legion Post 397 and Rowan will be senior at Raytown High School and was sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City.

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.

President George W. Bush has granted an audience in The White House to Boys Nation participants every year since he became President in the year 2000. The 2003 delegates are currently scheduled for a visit to The White House during the program on Friday, July 25th. All Boys Nation participants are also scheduled to make a visit to Capitol Hill during the week where they will have a chance to meet with members on Congress on Thursday, July 24th.

Two alternates were chosen to represent Missouri in the event that either of the delegates is unable to attend. The first alternate is Jeffery M. Hay of Sikeston (Sikeston High School) and Anant Vinjamoori of Chesterfield (Parkway Central High School) 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 64th session of the Missouri Boys State program.


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