Heading up north

Gustavo Ramirez, Opinions Editor

Boys and girls from all around California have been chosen to participate in the highly prestigious Boys State and Girls State event held for a week in June to help smooth students into better leaders. A whole host of juniors have been nominated, including Tiffany Virgen, Sofia Paik, Ellen Michael, Sarah Black, Yurgen Gonzalez, and Philip Shamada, and Francisco Gomez.

Students are chosen based on their ability to lead and their capabilities as students who have the capacity to learn and work well with others. Female candidates have already gone through the interview phase of their application and boys will undergo the interviews in April. Out of the girl nominees, Ellen Michael and Sarah Paik are the delegates of 2012. All around, the girls are happy to have even been considered.

“It would be cool to go to Girl’s State,” junior Sarah Black said, “but I’m nervous because it all seems like an intimidating thing. I honestly didn’t think I would get nominated, so it’s really a pleasant surprise.”

Boys and Girls State, sponsored nationwide by the American Legion Association, is a highly looked upon experience. Students benefit from their weeklong excursion. At the event—held at Clairmont College for females and Sacramento for males—is essentially the creation of a small, completely student run mock government. The event seeks to foster the leadership skills that are crucial in today’s working environment.

“I definitely think this could help students that get in,” junior Tiffany Virgen said. “You are getting first hand experience here and colleges really look favorably upon this. It’s a really good resume bump.”

Of course, the trip offers students a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn and grow from one another. Yet, as impressive and beneficial as this is, Yurgen Gonzalez feels hesitant about the event.

“I was really surprised at being chosen,” junior Gonzalez said, “but I don’t know if I really want to go. It is political and stuff like that, which I’m not really into.”

While Gonzalez does hold those feelings, he will still try and complete the interview that is scheduled for them in mid April. The interview consists of a short question-answer segment conducted by Mrs. Carlson and Mrs. Bean. Together, they decide who will be the two delegates based on the responses received and on the formal resume that they are required to bring.

As a sum total, Downey will once again be sending highly motivated and capable teens to represent their school and bring pride to Downey High.