Jackson’s Mill, W.Va. – Every year, American Legion Rhododendron Girls State and Mountaineer Boys State bring together some of the brightest high school students from across the state.
And every year, Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant meets with them to ask them to strive every day to make West Virginia a better place.
During Girls and Boys State attendees learn about the structure of government and elections and elect state, county, and city leaders such as Governor, Secretary of State, law enforcement, and Board of Education. The events are a practical application of leadership, citizenship, and patriotism.
On Monday, Secretary Tennant met with the approximately 400 future leaders attending Girls State at Wheeling Jesuit University.
“Make West Virginia your conscience and compass, no matter where you are,” Secretary Tennant said, referring to her family’s Marion County farm, which she calls her conscience and compass.
More than 26,000 have attended Rhododendron Girls State since its first year in 1941. The event was held at Jackson’s Mill in Lewis County every year until 1996, when it moved to its current location at Wheeling Jesuit University.
At Boys State in Jackson’s Mill on Tuesday, Secretary Tennant urged the nearly 400 attendees to strive to fulfill their potential while helping to move West Virginia forward.
“Just like each of you, West Virginia has so much potential,” Secretary Tennant said. “Each one of you is here because you are a leader at your school. You can be a leader on a larger stage here, and an even larger stage later in life. I ask that each of you speak up when you have an idea on how to make our state even better. You are the people who are capable, willing, and eager to make a difference.”
2014 marks the 77th Mountaineer Boys State.