The past few months have been a whirlwind of activity for Higley High senior Nicholas Stull. He was elected governor, declared martial law and was nearly impeached all in one week. Even that didn’t compare to his experience in Washington D.C.
Stull was one of two Higley High students to participate in Boys State in early summer. The selection process included an application and interview.
The program – created by the American Legion – is designed to teach boys about leadership and government.
During Boys State, about 375 high school students are placed into two political parties and many are given duties similar to those of true state government. There are Senators and Representatives, judges, law enforcement officers and a governor. That position is one the students elect halfway through the week and Stull received the nod from his fellow participants.
Soon after the election, Stull saw that some of the boys were not taking their roles seriously, and some were not having fun. He decided to declare martial law – something not expected by the counselors or the participants.
“The senate and the house went crazy. They were trying to get out the back door. There was a point where I thought, ‘I’ve ruined this,’” he said.
While the chaos was all in fun, Stull’s actions made the week even more intense and exciting for everyone.
“They started passing impeachment laws. The ‘civilians’ started coming to the galley and watching laws being passed. That was huge. The result was the people who didn’t care, did and the people who weren’t interested, were,” he said.
From the experience, Stull was nominated to be one of two Arizona representatives for Boys Nation – and he received the honor.
“Boys Nation was a humbling experience. Going into Boys State, my goal was to be a better leader. Boys State inspired me. It just motivated me to be better at Boys Nation. I was not there to be a leader, but to learn,” he said.
His weeklong adventure in Washington D.C. included visits to the Pentagon, the offices of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court and the White House.
“I sat back and absorbed everything I could,” he said.
The group also met with President Obama, a moment Stull said he won’t soon forget.
Stull hopes to take all he learned and transfer it into leadership at Higley High. He already has plans to run for office in several clubs. He also plays on the Higley High baseball team.
With a 4.7 GPA and a class load of nearly all Advanced Placement classes, his senior year is bound to be busy. But he’s also looking toward the future.
“Right now my goals are to keep every door open. I want to have as many options as possible. I love a little of everything,” he said.
Learn more about Boys Nation online: http://www.legion.org/boysnation/