Nathan Eaton, a senior at Uintah High School in Vernal, has a strong role model who helped him find an interest in politics.
Eaton's cousin is U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, which prompted Eaton to fill out an application for Boys State and be accepted.The 17-year-old said he saw Hatch about a month ago at his Vernal home. And just like his cousin, Eaton was seeking the office of U.S. senator at Boys State.
"He's (Hatch) the one that got me involved basically," said Eaton. "He's awesome. I like him."
The annual convention was held last week at Weber State University. Young men who are juniors in high school get selected for Boys State by filling out an application, getting good grades and showing leadership.
Most of the delegates from around the state are the same: They are good students, have leadership abilities and they enjoy sports. Yet they are all different. Like Eaton, who said he may have political aspirations in the future because of knowing Hatch.
The teenagers at Boys State spent five days together learning to campaign, select officers to run for, campaign and vote. They were all there to learn about the American political system.
Spencer Campbell, also 17, of Timpview High School in Provo, is also enthusiastic about attending Boys State. He sought the office of district judge.
But what sets Campbell apart from the rest of the delegates is that he works at a pediatric ward at a local Provo hospital.
He helps feed the sick children and gives medication. "But I mostly play with the kids," he said.
Shane Andreason of Payson High School in Payson is running for county assessor. When he's not attending Boys State he's involved in golfing, skiing and the Boy Scouts, and he works at a golf course mowing lawns.
When he gets out of high school and attends college, he hopes to get an architectural education so he can design houses.
Todd Newman of Bonneville High School in Ogden likes to fly fish, water ski, snow board and golf. He works part-time at a car dealership washing cars, and for relaxation he likes to read.
"When I'm bored I like to learn stuff," he explained. "Like I like to pick up an encyclopedia and read it." Newman is looking at a career in chemistry or math.
Mitch Ryan of Millard High School in Fillmore said he was surprised he was selected to Boys State. He said he filled out the application just for fun.
"I wasn't meant to be here," he said. "It's really not my type of thing. But I did come here to learn. I've learned a lot about government and parliamentary procedure."