Seventeen-year-old Neil White has big ambitions. He wants to become president of the United States.
That's the reason he is attending Boys State this year so he can learn the ins and outs of our form of government.About 320 high school boys from around the state will be attending the function throughout this week at Weber State University. The program is sponsored by the American Legion of Utah, and its purpose is to teach the youth of today the constructive attitudes of the American government.
White will be a senior at Highland High School in Salt Lake City, and he has already been elected to the city council from his town at Boys State.
"I think it's fun. It's a lot of good guys getting together and learning about government," he said. "My goal is to become president of the United States."
To reach his goal, White said he is planning to attend college at either Stanford or BYU, and major in political science.
But not all of Boys State is hard work. He said he plans to play softball in the afternoons. "There's lots of fun," he added.
Reuben Farnsworth, also 17, goes to school at Grand County High School in Moab. "Boys State is pretty interesting," he said.
He said he wanted to be at the function and learn about government in an attempt to change a law in Utah. He said his family's cow ranching business is going "belly-up" and he wants the Legislature to pass a bill that would allow the raising of elk instead.
While attending the weeklong function, Farnsworth said he plans to play softball and run for Boys Nation senator.
Farnsworth also plans to attend college either at West Point or BYU. He plans to be a history major.
Jake Graff is also having a good time at Boys State. "It's pretty interesting, tiring," the 17-year-old said. "There are long days, but you seem to learn a lot. It gives us good exposure on the political system."
Graff will be a senior at Pineview High School in St. George this fall, and he is running for county treasurer at Boys State. He plans to relax by playing basketball and dropping by the chess tournament.
After high school, he wants to get a scholarship to a good university, go on a church mission and then return to school.