Jersey Village Student Attends American Legion Texas Boys State 

Jersey Village Student Attends American Legion Texas Boys State 

July 27 2023

Jersey Village High School senior Joshua Kofler recently attended and graduated from the American Legion Texas Boys State. The educational program exposes participating high school students to operations of local, county and state governments. 

The one-week seminar at the University of Texas brings together more than 800 participants nominated and selected by teachers, counselors and local American Legion posts. Texas Boys State began in 1935 and helps educate future leaders about government and civics in a learn-by-doing environment. 

“The program itself was unlike any other I have experienced,” Kofler said. “The fact that the best high school leaders of Texas meet in the State Capitol is unique. It was solely up to us to create and build our own government from the ground up. We worked nonstop creating the platform of the political parties, collecting signatures, drafting legislation and passing bills, contested a general election against the rival party and its candidates and, walked around the offices and chambers of the Texas Legislature and the office of the Governor. We were constantly debating the effects of proposed law and policy, and particularly studying about different themes that impact legislation.” 

During the week, participants were evenly split into fictional political parties (National and Federalists). Each party and its delegates drafted party platforms, elected party officials, nominated candidates via primary elections and contested a general election against the rival party and its candidates. Delegates ran for offices at the city, county, district and state levels, with those elected to the House of Representatives and Senate spending the week drafting, debating and passing bills on a wide range of social and economic issues. 

Kofler served as campaign committee manager, where he conferred and interviewed candidates. precinct chairman for his city and district chairman for his county. He was also a district associate justice court of appeals nominee and served as a state delegate for the Nationalist Party. 

“Parading downtown through the city of Austin to tour the inside of the Texas State Capitol was my favorite activity of the program,” Kofler said. “A great moment came when they announced my team, ‘Hill City,’ as the Athletic and Overall Olympiad State Champion. Similarly, when my whole city looked at me when facing a new challenge, they all knew they could count on me to step up and confront the new task. Being in front of the cameras interviewing the delegates. Shaking hands, working and operating together to find solutions towards the betterment of the state and country. The brotherhood and camaraderie we obtained with one another helped us accomplish much more than anything we could have expected upon first arrival, and that will forever be my favorite aspect of the program.” 

In addition, delegates heard from dozens of distinguished guest speakers, including U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick, members of the Texas House of Representatives and Texas Senate and two retired generals. 

On June 12, delegates participated in a parade from the University of Texas campus to the Texas State Capitol. They toured the building, visited their hometown representatives’ offices and heard from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. 

“The guest speakers were absolutely fantastic,” Kofler said. “We heard stories ranging from politics within the Supreme Court to top secret missions during the Cold War. Every one of the speeches had its own unique message meant to inspire all of us boys. I can confidently say that listening to the speakers gave me a new perspective from which to look at the world.” 

Source:  CFISD

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