Mendon Upton Sends Seven to Boys State
By Melissa Orff Staff Reporter · June 13, 2012
Seven young men from Mendon and Upton are among an elite group chosen to represent the district in the 2012 Massachusetts Boys State program. Boys State was originally developed in 1935 and is sponsored by The American Legion, who recognized that threats to American democracy were "best answered by educating future leaders on the value of the American governmental system." For more than 75 years, Boys State has continued to teach young men the responsibility of citizenship.
High School Juniors are nominated and selected through a strict screening process that includes good grades, community service, and an interest in government. Over 600 boys from across the state applied and only 400 were chosen to participate this year.
From Mendon, Will Kelley, Chris Alleman, and Stephen Lukas and from Upton, Ethan Fortin, Andrew Oglesby, Matthew Burke, Brandon Hall were chosen. The students will head to Stonehill College in Easton for one week starting June 16 to take part in a conference that will include debates, elections, organized sports, and intensive learning about local government. Conferences generally include presentations by guest speakers. Past Boys State conference speakers have included Gov. Deval Patrick, Gov. Paul Cellucci, Gov. Michael Dukakis (alum), Sen. Edward Kennedy and Sen. John Kerry.
The chosen students were looking forward to the opportunity to attend the conference. "I felt honored to be chosen," said Alleman. Lukas, a third-generation Boys State attendee said he was looking forward to working with other students across the state. "I am proud to represent the community," he said. Stephen's father attended Boys State in Illinois as a High School student and his grandfather attended Boys State at University of Connecticut as a student.