Approximately 400 young men from across the State of Kansas, all of whom will enter their senior year of high school this fall, participated in the 2018 session of the American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy. The event, in its 81st year, was held June 3-8 at Kansas
State University in Manhattan for the 27th consecutive year.
The ALBSKLA provides a relevant, interactive, problem-solving experience in leadership and teamwork that develops self-identity, promotes mutual respect and instills civic responsibility. Boys State is a “learning by doing” political exercise that simulates elections, political parties and government at the state, county and local levels, providing opportunities to lead under pressure, showcasing character and working effectively within a team. It’s also an opportunity to gain pride and respect for government and the price paid by members of the military to preserve democracy.
Local Gardner participants are:.
Zachary Barnes, Gardner-Edgerton High School; City of Schmitt Councilman
• Tyler Chaffee, Gardner-Edgerton High School; Eisenhower County Senator
• Matthew Ebenstein, Gardner-Edgerton High School; Marshall County Commissioner
• Dylan Harding, Gardner-Edgerton High School; Boys State National Guard
• Brody Marshall, Gardner-Edgerton High School; Powell County Commissioner
• Jonah May, Gardner-Edgerton High School; Department of Humanities Official
• Thomas O’Connor, Gardner-Edgerton High School; Patton County District Court Official
• Zach Pearson, Wellsville High School; City of Schmitt Mayor
Local Spring Hill participants are:.
Stephen Mitchell, Spring Hill High School; Department of Humanities Official .
Samuel Pollom, Spring Hill High School; King County Commissioner
The American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy is an interactive simulation that teaches high school seniors-to-be the value of democracy and civic duty. Participants form mock governments and campaign for positions at the city, county and state levels. After the elections, participants find out firsthand the difficult decisions made daily by those in government through a series of challenging simulations. Delegates, nominated to attend by their high school counselors and
other influential people in their lives, are sponsored by American Legion posts and various civic organizations from across the state. All delegates demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities in student government, athletics and/or other activities.
The Boys State program was founded by Legionnaires Hayes Kennedy and Harold Card in Illinois in 1935, and was first held in Kansas two years later in Wichita. The Kansas program moved to the University of Kansas in Lawrence in 1963 and remained there until 1991. The following year, it moved to its current location at Kansas State University in Manhattan. For more information about the American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy, visit or