By SHERRY DIGMON
American Legion Post 90 sponsored 14 areas students at this year’s Boys and Girls State held at Troy University May 28 through June 3. One day during the week, delegates took a day trip to the capital in Montgomery.
As is the custom, the Legion held a reception for State delegates Thursday, August 17, and asked each one to talk about their experience. Several were absent this year, partly due to an Escambia Academy football game which had been rescheduled to that night.
Girls State delegates were
- Escambia Academy – Hannah Johnson
- Escambia County High School – Lyriel Munlyn
- Flomaton High School – Helen Weber
- T.R. Miller – Serenity Mitchell
- W.S. Neal – Emily Pettis
Boys State delegates were
- Escambia Academy – Eli A. Covington, Patrick Byrd, Timothy D. Doer, Jr.
- Escambia County High School – Paul Martin, Stephen Williams
- Flomaton High School – Jakson Newton, Jackson Haney, Jason T. Alcaniz, Michael Morgan
The following delegates were in attendance – Jason Alcaniz, Jackson Haney, Serenity Mitchell, Michael Morgan and Helen Weber. Below are excerpts from their comments at the reception.
Jackson Haney said Boys State was very enriching, but he found the politics to be very cutthroat. He discovered that politics is not something he wants to do. Boys State helped him grow as a speaker. Jackson wants to go into broadcasting, and being at Boys State helped him get comfortable speaking. Lots of ideas were thrown around. He thought it was good to hear speakers come in every day – congressmen and a judge. He said it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and anyone who goes should cherish the moment.
Jason T. Alcaniz said Boys State was definitely opposite of what he expected – in a good way. People he met were very interesting. His biggest worry was the food and eating enough. He said he didn’t know much about government, and it was cool how it comes together. He found Boys State very tiring, and he was afraid he wouldn’t make any friends. Speeches were motivational.
Helen Weber said before she went to Girls State, she knew nothing about how the government ran, but after a couple of days, that changed. She ran for office and had to do two speeches which helped her public speaking skills. Girls State was not what she expected. One of her favorite parts of the week was the Montgomery trip. She said Girls State was a great experience.
Michael Morgan thanked the Legion for the opportunity to attend Boys State. He had considered government as a career path, but found it very cutthroat at Boys State and not something he’s interested in. He’s part of a Snapchat group chat – none of the guys knew each other before. They all pulled together and ran a government. He said he wish they had more time to do more. He served in the House of Representatives.
Serenity Mitchell had no idea what to expect. She didn’t know anyone, no one else from her school went, and she was really nervous. But the leaders brought them together. She said it was fun to talk to girls from around the state, and they bonded. She enjoyed learning about the government, and hearing women speakers talking about their journeys. The girls became family over the course of a week. She gave a speech in front of all the girls – seemingly surprising even herself.