A Caddo Magnet High student will this month share an experience that changed the career path of former U.S. President Bill Clinton - a trip to Boys Nation in Washington D.C.
Joshua Smoak, 17, resident of Shreveport, Louisiana a senior at Caddo Magnet High School was one of 98 high school student representatives throughout the United States chosen to attend this year's American Legion Boys Nation.
Clinton, who dreamed of becoming a doctor, switched his attention to politics after a meeting at the White House with President John F. Kennedy during his 1963 Boy's Nation experience. Clinton was one of two high school students in Arkansas selected to attend that year's Boys Nation.
Smoak is one of two delegates selected from Louisiana. His selection was based on leadership skills, academic record and activity at American Legion Boys State.
Brandon Dale, 17, resident of Lafayette who attends Lafayette High School is Louisiana's other delegate to Boys Nation.
The week-long program, which will be held July 20-28, introduces the senators to the structure and function of the federal government while combining lectures and forums with visitations to federal agencies, institutions, memorials and historical spots in and around Washington, D.C.
The American Legion Boys Nation program provides a week of government training in Washington, D.C, comprised of lectures and forums with visits to federal agencies, institutions, memorials and historical sites. Valuable experience of the political process is gained through the organization of party conventions, the introduction and debate on bills and resolutions, and the election of an American Legion Boys Nation President and Vice President.
Each American Legion Boys Nation delegate represents his home state as a "Senator." The "Senators" caucus at the beginning of the session and organize into committees and conduct hearings on bills, allowing delegates to learn the proper methods and regulations followed by the U.S. Senate. In addition, federal legislators, representatives of national distinction, traditionally including U.S. President George W. Bush, participate in the activities at The American Legion Boys Nation Program.