OHS students prepare to become future leaders

To prepare today’s young people to be tomorrow’s civic leaders, a group of Oxford High School students have been selected to participate in three summer programs designed to educate them about public service and promote good citizenship.
Juniors Kate Hubbard, Holly Marshall, Emily Jacobsen and Joelle O’Steen were chosen to attend the 62nd session of the Michigan American Legion Auxiliary Girls State, to be held June 22-29 on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing. The girls will join about 500 other young ladies from around the state.
In case one or more of the above students can’t attend, juniors Samantha Marshall and Danielle Dresch were selected as alternates.
Juniors Ben Kester, Shawn Gall, Robby Gagniuk and Chad Shaver were selected to attend the 66th session of the Michigan American Legion Boys State, to be held June 15-21 on the MSU campus. The boys will join 750 other young men from around the state.
Both Boys State and Girls State operate as real-life simulations in which participants serve as public officials in mock city, county and state governments of their own creation. Students learn the duties and functions, as well as the powers and limitations, of various public offices in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.
During the week-long programs, participants engage in a variety of activities including campaigning for office, voting for candidates, enacting laws, formulating public policy, participating in conventions for mythical political parties, learning parliamentary procedure, problem-solving and practicing the art of compromise.
The programs are designed to emphasize the importance of government in modern life; educate young people in the duties, rights, privileges and responsibilities of American citizenship; and awaken a sincere conviction that a well-informed, intelligent, participating citizenry is vitally needed to protect and serve our democracy.
The $290 per student cost for Girls State was paid for by the Oxford Women’s Club, AMVETS Post 108, the Rotary Club of Oxford and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 108.
The $280 per student cost for Boys State was covered by American legion Post 108, Sons of the American Legion Post 108, AMVETS Post 108 and the Rotary Club of Oxford.
In addition to politics and government, two OHS students will learn about law enforcement by undergoing realistic officer training.
Junior Samantha Marshall and another student yet to be selected are slated to participate in the 35th annual American Legion Student Trooper Program, to be held Aug. 10-15 at the Michigan State Police Training Academy in Lansing.
Patterned after the regular state police recruit training program, the one-week Student Trooper session is designed to duplicate a ‘Boot Camp? atmosphere with intensive instruction and organized recreation, intended to educate participants about law enforcement and foster teamwork.
Student Trooper activities and training include ? law enforcement career opportunities, human relations, firearms safety and marksmanship fundamentals, traffic law, crime lab and forensic science, canine program, water safety, aviation unit, first aid, crash investigation, class photo, defensive tactics, emergency support team, patrol tactics, military drill, criminal law, conservation law, narcotics enforcement and underwater recovery.
The $225 per student cost for the Student Trooper Program is provided by American Legion Post 108 and AMVETS Post 108.
After they attend their programs, the Boys and Girls Staters and Student Troopers will be required to report on their experiences to their various sponsor groups.