Students participate in American Legion Boys State
Veterans at the San Anselmo post of the American Legion selected seniors Tyler Colenbrander, Nathan Luis and Jake Schmidt to attend the 2018 Boys State from a pool
of eight boys San Marin counselors recommended last school year.
The American Legion held this year’s Boys State from June 16 to June 23 at California State University, Sacramento. Boys State, an overnight summer leadership
program for boys entering their senior year of high school, teaches participants about government through simulation by allowing them to run for local, county, and
state positions and create laws once elected.
At Boys State, Colenbrander ran for and won the position of County Superintendent of Schools. The election process involved creating campaign posters and giving a speech
in front of the county, which consisted of 200 people.
“I decided to run with a platform of imagination and collaboration in education. In my speech, [I] used a Rubik’s cube magic trick, where I threw the cube up into the air and it came back down solved, as a metaphor for this campaign platform,” said Colenbrander, who attributes the success of his campaign to the location of his campaign posters, his magic trick and confidence when speaking in public.
“I learned a lot more about the campaign side of politics, and how much work
goes into it,” Colenbrander said. “I also gained a lot by talking to everyone there and making new friends. It was great to meet people who come from all over California
and all have very different stories and backgrounds.”
Luis was elected State Assemblyman, which gave him the ability to “propose,
amend, and vote” on bills in the state assembly as well as those already passed by
the state senate. He recalls experiencing personal growth while at Boys State.
“Coming out of it, I was more confident in myself because I was forced to
do things way outside my comfort zone while there,” Luis said.
Schmidt ran for Superior Court Judge in the “County of Haley”. After securing the position, he had responsibilities including “making courtroom, setting a jury and issuing arrest warrants and subpoenas.” Schmidt was also awarded best trial judge of the 2018
“I learned the importance of being active in government. It did not change what I want to do in the future, but it showed me that government is extremely important to
our society,” Schmidt said, also commenting that Boys State is often considered “a
political science laboratory.”
Colenbrander said his least favorite part of the program was when the time came to leave. Both Luis and Schmidt said their least favorite parts were the insufficient, “monotonous” and “bland” food.
“Overall, it was really great to experience dorm life at a college and meet lots
of other motivated kids,” Colenbrander said. “I would recommend anyone to go, even if they aren’t interested in politics or government, because it was a lot more
than just that.”