Seniors travel to state conferences

By Nancy Gutierrez

The annual trip to Boys and Girls State was taken by three involved seniors from Exeter Union High School.

On June 19-24 David Safina and Nicholas Eppler traveled to Sacramento to participate in the American Legion-sponsored event that teaches youths about government and cultivates leadership qualities. The basic concept is to teach government from the township to the state level. The two state programs, generally, are fashioned after the government structure of the respective state. Political offices and agencies that serve the people of that state would also exist within a Boys or Girls State. Every conference operates under a two-party system with instruction provided in the organization and operation of political parties at different levels of government.

"I was the city manager in my town," Safina said. "But what our town did a little differently was start a newspaper to compete with the Boys State paper. We were up till 4 a.m. every morning."

Safina was an editor at the paper in addition to being city manager. He said he learned a lot about city government as well as how to be a model citizen.

"I was Citizen of the Day for giving back extra money I received," he said. "We were all given a certain amount of money for campaigns and I got some extra and gave it back."

Safina is the co-president for the Tri-lambda Club, is vice president in Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), plays water-polo and is involved with the Madrigals and jazz band.

Nick Eppler learned the hard knocks of government politics when he lost the race for County Coroner. After the race he donated his campaign money to his party's candidate for governor.

"I really learned how the government works," Eppler said. "When I first got involved in ASB I didn't think that was how things ran. But I realized it's identical."

He said his experience in the conference piqued his interest in his community.

"It made me want to get involved," He said. "What I do actually matters."

Eppler is involved in FCA, is the senior class representative, plays water polo and is on the swim team.

Five hundred girls traveled to Claremont College the week following Boys State to participate in Girls State. Janae Ferreira participated as a representative from Exeter.

Ferreira won the race to represent her district as a state senator. Her duties were similar to what a California state senator would have.

"I learned about how the government is run and the interworkings of what elected officials go through daily."

Ferreira said she also learned about group dynamics and how important public relations is in politics.

"It was amazing to meet so many girls that will be in politics later," she said. "Just learning to accept differences and make that into something positive was exciting."

Ferreira is the ASB president, is on the track team and plays water polo.

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