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AHS prepares to send its first two female students to The California Boys and Girls State Program

The American Legion Boys State was founded in 1935, and in 2023 California became the first state to make the program coed
Posted at 3:01 PM, Jun 12, 2024

ARVIN, Calif. (KERO) — For the first time since The California Boys State Program became coed, Arvin High School female students will be participating in the program.

  • Video shows how two Arvin High School female students intend to leave their mark in an American Legion Program that was previously restricted to boys only.
  • The California Boys State is a hands-on educational program founded in 1935, that teaches high school students about government.
  • After a law passed in 2021, the Boys State Program was required to offer equal educational opportunities to both young men and women, making California the first state to make the program coed.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

The American Legion Boys State is a program for high school students to learn about government and leadership. The program was founded in 1935, and in 2023 California became the first state to make the program coed.

"Here in Arvin, I feel like civil education is not prioritized," said Jennifer Rangel one of the two first female students from Arvin High School participating in the program this year.

"It is a huge privilege and blessing because this program is great," said Rangel. "A lot of us don't have the voting age yet, so it is a great idea to get ourselves educated on how to vote in our society whether it be our state elections, our nationwide elections, or even city council."

Originally, the week-long program was restricted to boys only, teaching them how the government functions, and forming political campaigns and elections.

After a law passed in 2021, the Boys State Program was required to offer equal educational opportunities to both young men and women, making California the first state to make the program coed.

Joining Rangel is Celeste Rosas.

"Being able to work with both men and women in this program is a good part of it because we get to learn from each other," said Rosas, "So I think it's important that many more states do this as well."

With last year being the program's coed inaugural, officials say young women quickly left their mark in the program.

"Out of 920, that we had last year, a third of them were young ladies and we had our first elected young lady to lieutenant governor," said Henry Benavidez, Post Commander for The American Legion Post 26 and Post Chair for California Boys and Girls State.

Looking to leave her mark in the program, Rangel says she is excited to run for a government position in the program as she aspires to become a lawyer in the future.

"I hope to run for a position in the legal office," stated Rangel, "So for example, Supreme Court justice, jury, judge, public defender, or attorney—one of those things."

Rangel and Rosas are scheduled to depart for the program which is taking place at California State University Sacramento on Saturday.


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