By Lloyd Brown
The Dillon American Legion, Post 0032 held a dinner recently to honor the young men who had attended the Palmetto Boys State Program at Anderson University last June.
The young men who attended were John Chesley Gasque from Latta High School, Gatlin David Johnson from Latta High School, Joshua Emmanuel Pernell from Dillon High School, and Eli William Bethea from Dillon Christina School.
Boys State is the largest program sponsored by the American Legion. Its main purpose is to educate our young men in the Democratic form of government that we have here in the Unites States. To be chosen to participate in this program, the young men must have a good scholastic average, show leadership ability and be of good character.
The school’s counselors and the boy’s family were also invited to attend the celebration.
Each of these young men were presented with a Certificate of Participation for attending the Boys State Program.
While at Anderson University during Boys State Week, these young men get to meet some of South Carolina’s political Representatives. They also get to run for offices in a mock government from local to the state level positions. This opportunity gives the boys a change to experience the hard work and sometimes the defeat of trying to get elected into a public office.
To be selected to be interviewed by the American Legion for a change to go to Boys State at Anderson University, the boys must first be nominated by their teachers and Counselor. A committee from Dillon’s American Legion will interview the boys, this Committee is usually made up of three or four Legion members.
They boys are ask to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, then they are given a test about the governmental system of their town, county, state and our federal government. Some of these questions are easy but some require the boys to have done research to be successful.
The boys that have the highest scores are the ones that get to be Delegates and to go Anderson University for a week.
After the boys received their Certificates of Participation, they were given a chance to tell about their experiences at Boys State. For most of the boys, this is their first opportunity to be away from their family for a week with people that they just met.
This adventure always turns out with all of the boys stating that this was the best week of their life and that they are so happy that they did it and that they made new friends that they will keep for life.
Out of this group of young men, we might have one politician, John Chesley Gasque of Latta High School, stated that one day he would like to be Governor.
That could happen, work hard John and keep that goal so we can vote for you.
PICTURED ARE (l-r) Lloyd Brown, Post 0032 Boys State Chairman; John Chesley Gasque, Gatlin David Johnson, Joshua Emmanuel Pernell, and Eli William Bethea.