by ADAM GRUENEWALD
Although he is just about to enter his senior year at Central, Brandon Fabel is getting some valuable life experiences.
Already attending National FFA Competition in the fall because of his standout speech project, Fabel will also attend Boys Nation in July.
Fabel was selected by the Norwood American Legion Post #343 to attend Boys State, the intensive hand-on government instruction experience for high school juniors, held June 9 to 15.
At Boys State, Fabel knew he wanted to run for a state position and did well to rally support from the other towns as State Auditor in the Nationalist party.
“You’re with a lot of people interested in a lot of the same things,” said Fabel. “Meeting those kids and learning about the political process was fun.”
Fabel then became one of two of in the state making the trip to Boys Nation as a junior senator, along with senior senator Simeon Toronto.
“The best thing about doing that is meeting these people and getting that experience,” he said. “It’s gets more in-depth at Boys Nation.”
American Legion Post Commander 343 Dick Stolz said it was the first time in remembered history that someone from NYA has made it to Boys Nation.
“Only two from the state are selection out of nearly 400 participants,” said Stolz. “That along is just something else and it’s quite an honor to be selected.”
Fabel though managed the task, despite being the only one from NYA to attend Boys State.
“It’s a difficult task,” said Stolz. “Some of the participants are among three or four from one area and they can work together. For Brandon, just being the sole participant from NYA his task was even harder… We’re really proud of that as a little Post.”
Started in 1935, American Legion Boys State helps students become part of the operation of local, county and state government.
American Legion Auxiliary sponsors a separate but similar program for young women called Girls State.
At Boys Nation, set for July 19 to 26, Fabel will act as a senator and will learn the proper method of handling bills, according to U.S. Senate rules. Participation in the political process is emphasized throughout the week, including organization of party conventions and nominating and electing a president and vice president.
The week of government training also includes lectures, forums and visits to federal agencies, national shrines, institutions, memorials and historical sites. On Capitol Hill, Boys Nation senators meet with elected officials from their home states.
Stolz said the Post is always eager to support the Boys State program because of the hands-on experience it offers with the democratic process.
“It’s a reinforcement of democracy and our system of democracy,” he said. “All of us were all military guys. We support our way of government, believe in it and fight for it. Many have given lives for it.”
Since Boys Nation began in 1946, a number of its graduates have been elected to public office, including presidents, congressmen, state governors and state legislators. Many others have been inspired to work for the campaigns of individuals seeking public office.
Fabel has already written two things to submit at Boys Nation, a bill on the asian carp invasion, the same topic as his FFA speech, and a resolution on education to determine student progress by individual student growth and not standardized tests.
The idea is right on track for Fabel, who is also an offensive lineman for Central football team, and said he wants to get into business, get a law degree and end up in politics.
Fabel, who is attending football camps and working as a lifeguard this summer, said Boys Nation will help him on his career path as many business and political leaders were involved in the program, such as former President Bill Clinton.
“You get that experience and get more in-depth and it helps you set yourself up for the future,” he said.
Brandon is the son of Kent and Lisa Fabel and brother of Justin.
Contact Adam Gruenewald at firstname.lastname@example.org.