From June 22-27, more than 200 high school juniors from across the state converged on campus to attend the 26th Annual American Legion Boys State. During Boys State, the students learned how state and municipal governments operate. They set up and ran mock town, city and state elections, and engaged in role-playing where towns are represented. Mayors lobbied, while representatives and senators debated and enacted legislation.
This year's guest speakers included former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, who spoke on June 22. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal spoke on June 23.
From June 28-July 3, more than 200 high school students from around the state participated in the Laurel Girls State program on campus. Sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, Laurel Girls State prepares young women for careers in government through citizenship and democracy.
Program officials focused on patriotism by involving students in all aspects of government, and by enhancing pride in America. Students elected officials on a local and state level, who then carried out the duties of their offices. In mock settings, students also wrote bills and enacted legislation.
The Girls State program has provided students with hands-on citizenship experience and government participation for more than 65 years. Girls State officials hope the experience will result in lifelong participation in government.