Dr. Jo Steals the Show

By: Jim Chapman

From the moment she strode confidently onto the stage, Boys’ and Girls’ Staters alike were held transfixed by her vivacity, entertaining anecdotes, and powerful message of kindness and responsibility in leadership. Dr. Joanne Owens-Nauslar, affectionately known by her audiences as Dr. Jo, has been inspiring participants at both the Boys’ and Girls’ State programs for over two decades, and this year was no exception. Partly through her cheerful demeanor and audience engagement, the motivational powerhouse of a woman held her listeners spellbound for just under an hour as she passionately described the responsibilities that come with leadership. Central topics of her address included turning problems into opportunity (she herself was an unplanned pregnancy), thoughtful communication, enthusiasm for every task set before us, and, perhaps above all, kindness in our actions toward others. And as the assembled audience sent shock waves through Kimball Hall with a tremendous standing ovation at the conclusion of Dr. Jo’s address, it became sparklingly clear why Dr. Jo has become one of the most hallowed and highly anticipated of Boys’ State’s many traditions.



Debate and Campaigning

The third day of Cornhusker Boys’ State was full of spirited political debate, campaigning, and voting.  We capped off the day with a trip to the Nebraska National Guard base.  The day began with our two political parties, the nationalists and federalists, debating planks in their newly formed party platform. Next, candidates campaigned for various state and county offices. Later that afternoon, a primary election was held. In the evening, the delegates toured the National Guard Base in Lincoln.

Let the Fun Begin

The 79th annual session of American Legion Cornhusker Boys’ State is underway.  Towns are getting to know one another and starting to have some serious fun!  Today, Sen. Suzanne Geist visited the delegates elected to the Boys State Unicameral Legislature. This afternoon was also the first games for the town’s sports teams.  We finished the evening with an incredibly motivating message from Dr. Jo!