Mundelein High School senior Animesh Bijawat returned from this year’s American Legion Boys State with a $2,000 scholarship, an honor earned by only four of the 200 program participants. During the week-long mock government program held at Eastern Illinois University, Bijawat was elected City Party Chairman, County Party Chairman, and leader of the Federalist Party.
“I was used to giving speeches on a small scale to approximately 20 people, but Boys State really solidified my confidence by giving me the opportunity to speak in front of all 200 members,” Bijawat said.
As State Party Chairman, Bijawat became one of the five finalists for a scholarship and ultimately was appointed Boys Nation alternate. Another MHS senior, Adrian Rosales, also attended Boys State and was elected Alderman and Chief of Militia.
“It was fun; I made new friends,” Rosales said. “I found out that I was better at public speaking when I didn’t pre-write a speech.”
Aside from the civics and government-related duties that are the hallmark of the Boys State learning experience, Rosales said he enjoyed light moments like participating on a volleyball team and a mattress jousting tournament on the last day.
American Legion Boys State is offered in 49 states with two representatives from each state selected as senators at Boys Nation in Washington, D.C. Established in 1935, ALA Boys State is funded by local American Legion posts. Mundelein Post 867 underwrites the registration and transportation cost for two rising Mundelein High School seniors each year.