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"The week of Boys State was the best in my life. It was the greatest experience I have ever had! I will never forget my experience there or those great people I met there. I would like to thank all those who make Boys State so wonderful! God Bless America!!!"

-- Anthony E. Navarrete '07
Slayter, MO

Press Release

July 14, 2010

For more Information Contact:
Contact Missouri Boys State



(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) –Derik Robert Brandon Russell, Waverly, MO was selected as one of approximately 99 national finalists for the Samsung American Legion National Scholarship at the annual Missouri American Legion State Convention held July 8-11, 2010 in Jefferson City.  Russell was selected by the state scholarship committee of the Missouri American Legion from approximately 170 applicants.  Russell will compete nationally for one of ten Samsung American Legion scholarships expected to total $20,000 each which will be awarded by The American Legion this fall.  By virtue of his selection as a national finalist, Russell will receive a $1,000 scholarship, if not selected as a national winner.

Russell was selected based on his school and community involvement, academic standing, financial need, and leadership skills.  Russell will be a senior at Santa Fe High School this fall and currently intends to major in aerospace engineering followed by a masters degree with the goal of working at NASA.  At high school, he is a member of the Academic Team, Science Club, Math Club, Future Business Leaders of America, and was previously a member of the Future Farmers of America.  In addition, Russell participates in Baseball, Football, Track, Choir, and Band.  He has been named a National Merit Scholar qualifier and to the Superintendent’s Honor Roll 11 out of 12 quarters in high school.  Russell has earned the rank of Eagle Scout and is an active member of the United Methodist youth group.  He is the son of Brandon and Melissa Russell and grandson of the late Robert Plackemeier who served with the Army during the Korean War.

Eligible applicants attended The American Legion Boys State of Missouri or The American Legion Auxiliary Missouri Girls State in Warrensburg this past June and were descendants of war veterans.  Boys State and Girls State are leadership and citizenship training programs sponsored by the Missouri American Legion and the Missouri American Legion Auxiliary respectively.  The American Legion Post 478 - Blackburn provided Russell the opportunity to participate in the 2010 session of Missouri Boys State through their generous sponsorship.

The scholarships are funded from earnings on a $5 million Samsung Corporation endowment. The electronics firm joined with The American Legion in 1995 to offer scholarships to direct descendants of honorably discharged wartime veterans in recognition of the sacrifice and commitment of American servicemen and women during the Korean War to maintain the security of the Korean peninsula.

Dong-Jin Oh, president and chief executive officer of Samsung North America, Inc. says the scholarship program is the best way to recognize “the sacrifices and commitment of U.S. servicemen and women.  We believe this is the best way to show our appreciation to the United States and to U.S. war veterans.”

For more information about The American Legion Boys State of Missouri program, call 1-877-DIAL-MBS or visit www.moboysstate.org.


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