By J.C. Sillivan – American Legion Buckeye Boys State
This summer, Nordonia High School Senior Michael Dietzen attended the 2017 Buckeye Boy’s State Program. The week-long experience provides an educational and leadership program that exposes young men to the rights and privileges, the duties and responsibilities, and the love of God and Country necessary to being self-governing citizens. It embodies the principals of patriotism, compromise and involvement in one’s government. The program is open to 11th grade students.
“Heading into the camp I didn’t really have too much of an idea what position I wanted to run for. However, within the first hour of being there I gathered most of my floor (the city of Balding), and we began to discuss the different positions available. I came to the conclusion that County Commissioner was the position for me. I was elected and quickly grabbed attention from the American Legion members at the county level and was sent into the process for Boy’s Nation. “
Dietzen said the best part of the experience was getting to know the different individuals around the campus. “Being around a lot of like-minded, driven people was very refreshing. The conversations I had revolving around conflicting viewpoints are ones I will never forget. The Legionnaires and staff were incredible and the campus is beautiful (not to mention the food). I obtained contact information for all of the young men in my city, as well as a few others I met in my workplace.” He added that he has continued to discuss statesmanship with others in a group that was formed. “The phrase ‘a week to shape a lifetime’ could not be any more accurate when describing Buckeye Boy’s State. I would most definitely recommend the experience to any young men pursuing a career in government.”
The camp has also instilled in him a level respect for our armed forces, veterans and law enforcement, as well as public servants and himself. He hopes to take everything he learned from the experience and apply it to his own everyday life.
Visiting their son on Saturday’s Parents Day, and then at the Sunday graduation ceremony, Northfield’s Tricia and Paul Dietzen said they had never seen their son “so happily determined and excited to be part of something like this. He didn’t want the week to end.” She added Michael was awarded one of the Excellences in Government Awards with a $500.00 scholarship. “He said it was the most life-changing events of his life.”
For 11th grade boys interested in additional information please refer them to a school counselor and also visit Ohiolegion.com/programs.