NEEDLES — Each year, the American Legion California Boys State chooses one representative from each district to make a trip to California State University in Sacramento. This year, The American Legion California Boys State chose Jacob Chavez chosen to represent the Needles Unified School District.
But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he and the other students from across the state who were selected weren’t able to attend. Still, the invitation was momentous, Chavez said.
“I was at my sister’s basketball game in Las Vegas when Mrs. (Kimberly) Breaux called me and let me know that I had been chosen,” said Chavez.
The American Legion California Boys State participants learn the rights, privileges and responsibilities of American citizens. The training is objective and centers on the structure of city, county and state governments.
Boys State activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law-enforcement presentations assemblies, bands, choruses and recreational programs. Boys State chooses students who are in their junior year of high school and who have maintained good grades. Chavez finished his junior year with a 3.79 grade-point average and was part of the Needles High
School Mustangs football and baseball teams.
“I was kind of shocked that I was chosen but at the same time it feels good to know that my hard work is being noticed,” said Chavez.
After learning he would not be attending because the event was canceled this year by the pandemic, Chavez admitted being a bit disappointed.
“The director of the program called and told me that they weren’t going to be able to have it this year but he would email me a certificate and the pin,” said Chavez. “I was disappointed because talking to my friends who had gone to Sacramento they said it was a fun week.”
Despite not being able to go Chavez still received credit and he said that it will look good on his college resume.
“I’m very thankful for being chosen and I’m glad that I was given the opportunity and it’s nice getting something to show my hard work,” said Chavez.
Chavez is heading into his senior year at NHS and when asked what his future holds, he said that he planned to join the military, either the United States Army or Air Force.