FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 13, 2010
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Missouri Boys State Governor Aims for Positive Change
(Belton, Mo) Less than three weeks now before we go to the polls to elect our state and national political leaders. And in the not-too-distant future we could be casting our ballots for this week's FOX 4 Young Achiever -- Zac Sweets. The Belton High School senior already holds high office -- as Governor of Missouri Boys State.
With his quiet confidence and an easy-going manner, there's no question Zac Sweets is in command in the newsroom of "The Cutlass," Belton High School's impressive student-produced online news magazine that is constantly updated. Zac is editor-in-chief and he is up to the demanding tasks of leadership.
"Keeping everyone on task, making sure deadlines are met and making sure we have 'The Cutlass' looking the way it needs to be," says Zac of his main duties.
For Zac, when it comes to leadership and involvement, the more the better. He's student council president at Belton High for the second year in a row and in his fourth straight year as president of his class. And there's so much more.
"As far as I can think back, it's been leadership for me," says Zac. "It's not so much that I say, 'Hey, I'm going to go lead.' It just happens. I want to be a leader so I can be a driving force behind the most positive change for the most amount of people."
Zac was a major positive force in getting the school district to create a Leadership class at Belton High. When they need someone to take charge of an important project like that or set a standard for others to follow, students, administrators and teachers all look to Zac.
"He's a natural born leader," says Belton High teacher Liz Hunsaker. "I saw that in him as a freshman."
Hunsaker works very closely with Zac as Student Council adviser and Senior Class sponsor.
"He does what's best for students," says Hunsaker. "He tries to bring change about. He will go into any battle and he's really not worried about the repercussions. He gives it his all. 48 hours in a 24 hour day. I'm not sure how he does it but he gets it all done."
The one thousand outstanding high school leaders who attended the Missouri Boys State youth government conference this past summer saw the same powerful qualities in Zac. The delegates elected him to the highest office there -- Boys State Governor.
"That was huge for me in telling me, 'Hey, you want to do something, you can do it and here's the example,'" says Zac. Becoming Missouri Boys State Governor and learning the intricacies of government there reinforced Zac's solid vision for his future -- politics. And it doesn't phase him at all that Americans hold political leaders as a group in such low-esteem right now.
"As long as I know my integrity is in tact, as long as I know I'm leading and representing people as I should, that's what I want to do," says Zac.
"That's just Zac, who we all fully expect at some point his name will be on the ballot," says Hunsaker. "We'll be voting for him in some office. If he feels Vice President or President is where he needs to be, that wouldn't surprise me either."
Zac is also leading a student campaign to get Belton High elected the "President" school of the Missouri Association of Student Councils next year. Then Belton High would host the organization's big state convention in 2012. And Zac has promised he'll return from college to help out with that.
FOX 4 News is Working 4 You to spotlight outstanding young people and their positive accomplishments. In our weekly report called Reaching 4 Excellence we meet young achievers in subjects like academics, the arts, leadership, community service, volunteerism, career exploration, overcoming obstacles and heroism. Watch for Reaching 4 Excellence every Wednesday on FOX 4 News at 9 p.m. and every Thursday on FOX 4 News at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
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For more information about The American Legion Boys State of Missouri program, call 1-877-DIAL-MBS or visit www.moboysstate.org.