This afternoon, Deb Fischer, the Republican candidate for the Senate seat to be vacated by the retiring Ben Nelson, stopped by the Harper Dining Hall to shake hands and chat with the delegates. While Ms. Fischer could not stay long, the delegates appreciate the chance to meet and speak with her.
The Honorable Adrian Smith, Boys’ State Alumnus and House Representative of Nebraska’s 3rd Congressional District, took a moment out of his busy schedule today in Washington, D.C. to answer delegates’ questions. While Mr. Smith could not get time away from his busy job to join us in Lincoln, through audiovisual technology and the internet, he and the delegates were able to discuss numerous issues from halfway across the country. Mr. Smith answered tough questions on various topics, ranging from the Humane Society of the Unites States (HSUS) to the debt crisis.
A delegate from Yorktown asks Mr. Smith a question via the internet.
Mr. Smith answers and interacts with delegates through audiovisual technology.
Dr. Sara Imhof of The Concord Coalition visited Boys’ State this afternoon, delivering a presentation on the deficit crisis. According to Dr. Imhof and the organization’s website,
The Concord Coalition is a non-partisan, grassroots organization dedicated to educating the public about the causes and consequences of federal budget deficits, the long-term challenges facing America’s unsustainable entitlement programs, and how to build a sound foundation for economic growth.
Her presentation did just the above by, for example, looking at the deficit, not in terms of dollars, but in terms of percentage of the United States’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP). She also put the deficit into historical perspective, how it has grown in the last few decades and how it is projected to grow in the next few. Interestingly, she pointed-out that it was actually during the Second World War that the U.S. deficit reached its highest ever proportion of the GDP: 109%, though we rapidly repaid this debt after the war. After the numerous political opinions and possible solutions offered by both delegates and guests this week, Dr. Imhof’s presentation provided valuable perspective.
This evening, the Band and Chorus gave stirring performances during a joint session of Boys’ and Girls’ State in Kimball Hall. Led by Waverly High School band director Jim Kucera, the combined Boys’ and Girls’ State Band began the evenings’ musical festivities. They played a variety of tunes, including “Ballad of the Green Berets;” “Amazed,” by the country band Lonestar; and the classic, “There is No Place Like Nebraska.” Following the instrumentalists came the combined Chorus, led by UNL Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Peter Eklund. They performed a beautiful repertoire of pieces, ranging from movingly emotional to bouncy and fun. Both the Band and Chorus received a standing ovation after nearly every song was completed. While the incredible musical talent of these young men and women is not surprising given their other credentials, what is truly remarkable is that this amazing performance was rehearsed in only two days! The Boys’ State program sends out a very special ‘Thank You!’ to Dr. Eklund and Mr. Kucera for volunteering their time to lead these incredible young people this week. Overall, the band and chorus performances were a showcase of remarkable talent and a ton of fun for everyone present.
This morning, John Morrissey, leadership trainer for Fortune 500 companies, former 25-year-veteran teacher, and friend of the Boys’ State Program, gave a presentation on the four different generations that make up the U.S. workforce. As the youngest leaders in our Nation, the delegates showed real interest in learning about how their own generation, “The Millennials,” thinks as a whole, especially in relation to the other three generations: “Traditionalists,” “Baby Boomers,” and “Generation X.” Each generation has been shaped by specific historical, social, and economic factors and events, such as the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. These different circumstances shape the way that individuals within each generation think about the world and live their lives. Knowing this important fact is crucial to be able to learn from and cooperate with members of other generations in the workforce and society at large.