What is ALA Missouri Boys State?
The ALA Missouri Boys State encourages young men to aspire to leadership and learn about American government and politics. Boys from all over Missouri are nominated to participate in this weeklong summer program. This year, the program will be held at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO. Consequently, this year marks the 80th anniversary of ALA Missouri Boys State and will be co-hosted with the ALA Missouri Girls State.
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(ALA) Boys State delegates must meet four primary participation criteria as follows:
- Male who recently completed junior year of high school in the U.S. state of Missouri.
- Have at least one semester of high school left to complete.
- Must express a desire to gain knowledge about the U.S. government, actively participate in community service, and demonstrate leadership skills and academic excellence.
- Recommended by a high school educator or an American Legion Auxiliary member.
Most U.S. states, except Hawaii, have a Boys State Program. Each state with a program and the District of Columbia sends two delegates to the Boys Nation program in Washington D.C. for further leadership opportunities.
Who sponsors ALA Missouri Boys State?
The American Legion sponsors ALA Missouri Boys State. Moreover, it is a nonprofit organization supporting veterans of U.S. wars from all military branches. In 2022, the program moved to Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO. For the first time, the ALA Missouri Boys State and ALA Missouri Girls State sessions are on the same campus during the entire week in June.
Pro Tip: If you are a freshman or sophomore in high school and have an interest in politics or government, ask your high school counselor for more information about ALA Missouri Boys State. In other words, advocate for yourself. You can also reach out to current seniors and alumni who have attended the program.
ALA Missouri Boys State Scholarships
Young men participating in the ALA MO Boys State are eligible for various scholarships. Several Missouri state and private colleges and universities offer scholarships for boys who complete the program and participate in activities during the week. The American Legion also sponsors a few scholarships, such as the Samsung Scholarship for the descendants of Korean War veterans.
Can anyone join the American Legion?
Not exactly. To join the American Legion, individuals must meet two primary requirements:
- The veteran should have served at least one day of active military duty since December 7, 1941, with an honorable discharge.
- Be enlisted on active military duty in the armed forces in Honorable standing.
In 2018, my son, Lorne St. Christopher II, attended Missouri Boys State during the summer between his junior and senior year at Parkway North High School in St. Louis, MO. The University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, MO, housed the session. Lorne actively immersed himself in the experience and ran for city, county, and state government positions. Although he aspired for the Lieutenant Governor position, Lorne’s highest elected position was the County Commissioner for his county.
This experience helped increase Lorne’s confidence, expanded his communication skills, and broadened his knowledge of politics and government. These skills made him stand out when applying for the Opportunity Scholarship at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, the Presidential Fellowship at Murray State University, and the Air Force ROTC Scholarship. Further, these scholarships contributed to the $500,000 in scholarships that he earned when he graduated from high school in 2019. Lorne’s journey helped birth the College Bound Village Facebook group, which now has over 4,000 members.
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