While most kids were at home binge-watching Netflix this summer, some of our juniors spent a week learning about city, county, and state government at the Boys and Girls State programs. This year Tempe Prep sent seven students to Boys State at NAU in Flagstaff and four students to Girls State at UofA in Tucson. During these weeklong programs, the students assume the roles of government leaders and campaign in mock parties (often called “Federalists” and “Nationalists”) to become mayors and county and state officials of their Girls or Boys State.
This immersive experience is unlike any other and Rachel Dinh, a participant at Girls State, says, “Seeing some of the brightest girls in Arizona come together to learn about their duty as citizens is really inspiring. Girls State encourages patriotism and civic envelopment that I haven’t seen in any other summer program.” Bringing students in from small towns, big cities, and rural areas across Arizona also brings in different perspectives about government and how it should be organized, which creates a more unique learning experience.
Joseph Campbell, a participant at Boys State, says “I loved being around boys my same age with a vast variety of interests. The community that was established between the boys was tangible and strong.”
Boys and Girls State are open to all juniors and applications for next summer will be open in January. Harish Ilango, another participant at Boys State, “would recommend the program to other students because it teaches attendees the ways in which the government is run at the state level, and provides a lot of insight as to how the government works in accordance with our lives.”
Because Tempe Prep does not offer any government classes, this Program is a great way for students to learn about elections, campaigning, and general civics education. And while it is a long week with a lot of work, it’s also a very fun program and a great way to meet amazing new people!
Article by Lindsay Newfeld, a student staff writer for De Equitibus, Tempe Preparatory Academy’s student newspaper.