Five students have been selected by Licking High School faculty, American Legion Post #559, and members of the community to attend Boys and Girls State 2023. Leighia Johnson, Ryleigh Barton, Dawson Havens, Trevor Richards, and Sami Hall will attend this year’s event, to be held June 24 – July 1, at Lindenwood University, St Charles, Mo. Only a select few boys and girls are chosen to participate in the annual event that is sponsored by The Missouri Department American Legion, Missouri Department American Legion Auxiliary and Post #559 Licking, Mo.
Leighia is a junior at Licking High School and holds a cumulative high school GPA of 4.0. She is a member of FCCLA, Science Club, NHS and Pep Club. She plays softball, runs track and plays club volleyball. She achieves High Honor Roll each year.
Ryleigh is a junior at Licking High School and holds a cumulative high school GPA of 4.01. She is the vice president of her 2024 class and secretary of Licking’s FBLA and FCCLA programs. She is an avid participant in Licking’s Science Club, and plays on the Licking Girls Basketball team. She was chosen Outstanding Teammate last year. She is a member of NHS, Student Council and the A+ program. She is a member of her church youth group and has received High Honor Roll every year of high school.
Dawson is a junior at Licking High School and holds a cumulative high school GPA of 3.85.
Organizations and activities that he participates in include: A+ Program, band, foreign language-French, Honor Roll, National Honor Society, orchestra, archery and Scholar Athlete. He participates in 4-H Club, Academic Bowl, Business Contest, Chess Club, FBLA, History Club, Quiz Bowl, Scholar Bowl, Science Club, Speech and Debate, church youth group, and is employed.
Trevor is a junior at Licking High School and holds a cumulative High School GPA of 3.89. Organizations and activities that he participates in include: A+ Program, Honor Roll, National Honor Society, Quiz Bowl, and Scholar Bowl.
Samantha Hall is a junior at Licking High School and holds a cumulative GPA of 3.1. Sami has competed in American Legion’s High School Scholarship Oratorical Contest two years. In 2021 she placed first in County, District, and Zone competition. Sami then went on to place second in State competition 2022. She competed in the Zone contest 2023 and placed second. She is the former president and secretary of Licking 4-H. She is a former FCCLA Region 9 President, and is currently Representative and Chapter Vice President.
American Legion Boys and Girls State programs are a one-week intensive education program of government instruction for high school students. It is a participatory program where each becomes a part of the operation of his local, county and state government. At Boys and Girls State students will be exposed to the rights and privileges, duties and responsibilities of franchised citizens. The training is objective and practical with city, county and state governments operated by the students who are elected to various offices. Activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law-enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, chorus and recreational programs. Mentoring of youth is one of the Four Pillars of the American Legion posts.
All event fees for students are paid by members of American Legion Post #559, Licking, Mo., and a generous donation by Licking VFW Post #6337. Fees this year for both girls and boys is $500 per attendant.