By Dan Bechtold
Attending Boys State and Girls State allows high school students to understand the workings of government.
Three Winner High School students who attended Boys State and Girls State spoke at the Winner Rotary Club on Thursday.
Finn Bartels and Michael Olson attended Boys State in Aberdeen. Adrienne Lewis attended Girls State in Vermillion.
All three enjoyed the experience.
Lewis represented the city of Miami and was elected city auditor. She was also elected county register of deeds. At the state level, she was elected to the senate and headed the transportation committee.
In the senate, one of her bill was passed. Lewis found out some girls have similar names and the spelling of their name is the same. This was a bill to add pictures on the ballot for future Girls State.
“I learned a lot about the different levels of government and how to be more involved,” she explained.
She also learned how to campaign for people you believe in.
Bartels represented the city of Phoenix. He was elected city postmaster and county chairman.
Bartels found it a great way to meet new people.
Olson represented the city of Honalulu and was the District 5 alderman. He then was elected District 5 commissioner and then elected sheriff.
At the state level, he worked with Bartels on a minimum wage bill.
“I enjoyed meeting new people I would have not met had I not attended,” he said.
Olson said Boys State taught him how complex government is and this experience will help him in the future.
Speaking at Boys State and Girls State were Gov. Kristi Noem and the South Dakota congressional delegation.
Also representing WHS at Girls State and Boys State were Marissa Meiners and Ryan Sell. They were unable to attend the July 1 meeting so they will speak at a future Rotary meeting.
Boys State is sponsored by the American Legion and Girls State is sponsored by the Legion Auxiliary. It was held May 31 to June 5.