Natalie Sanders

American Legion Post 331 recognized area students Sunday during a dinner for their attendance at Girls State, Boys State and Missouri State Highway Patrol Cadet Academy.

The American Legion chose students from area schools and paid their tuition to attend through donations from area businesses.

The programs are meant to teach the students about leadership, government, and law, as well as provide them with a unique week-long experience that will foster independence.

Post 331 sent students from Laquey and Waynesville schools and one home schooled student, including seven girls to Girls State, 14 boys to Boys State, two boys to the MSHP Cadet Academy and one girl to the Cadet Academy.

The students were given a certificate and asked discuss their experiences. The Girls and Boys State attendees discusses the process of running for office, governing cities and townships, classes they attended and the friendships they were able to forge.

While the State attendees discusses making the law, Cadet Academy attendance was all about upholding it. All the attendees gave glowing reviews of their experiences.

The students sent to Boys State were Lajos Zadravecz, Zachary Kieffer, Eric Norman, Joseph Lim, John Lim, Akash Patel, Aman Patel, Mark Vanderson, Dylan Newcomb, Justin Clarke, Devonte Baity, Mason-Wade Reed, James Givins and Samuel Crider.

The students sent to Girls State state were Mackenzie Murphy, Jerrica Leonard, Lulie Aistrope, Isabella Paolicellie, Jazmyne Bosworth, Sara Russel, and Sarabi Bosworth.

The students who attended the MSHP Cadet Academy were Gage Gawenn, Ryan Thomas Hancock and Katlyn Gaddis.