UTICA – State Sens. David J. Valesky and Joseph A. Griffo announced today that the state budget includes, for the first time, funding for American Legion Boys’ State and American Legion Auxiliary’s Empire Girls State.
Morrisville State College will receive $100,000 to defray the cost of hosting 1,100 rising seniors for Boys’ State, which will be held from June 27 to July 3. The College at Brockport will receive $50,000 to cover some costs related to hosting more than 360 rising seniors for Empire Girls State, which will be held June 30 to July 6.
“Boys’ and Girls State provide a unique opportunity for our future leaders to learn about government," said Valesky, D-Oneida. “I’ve seen firsthand what a valuable experience it is for participants and was pleased to help secure funding to ensure it continues.”
“At Boys’ and Girls State, teenagers learn what it truly takes to be an engaged citizen. It’s an immersive experience in building democracy, whether it be on the city, county or state level,” said Griffo, R-Rome. “This is an important educational opportunity for our civic leaders of tomorrow. I’m pleased to have been a long-time guest speaker as well as an advocate for this needed funding.”
Dave O’Brien, the American Legion Boys’ State of New York program director, said: “We greatly appreciate Sen. Griffo and Sen. Valesky for their push to secure us state aid. This will help the colleges remain staffed and ready for us, as well as helping us ensure the program is available to teenagers for years to come.”
Nationwide, the boys’ and girls’ programs have produced several famous alums, including Bill Clinton, George Pataki, Tom Brokaw, Jane Pauley and Janet Napolitano.