July 25, 2022—Langham Creek High School senior Aadil Nathani recently attended and graduated from the American Legion Texas Boys State. The educational program, which met in Austin for the first time in person since 2019, exposes participating high school students to operations of local, county and state governments.
The one-week seminar at the University of Texas brings together more than 1,000 participants nominated and selected by teachers, counselors and local American Legion posts. Texas Boys State began in 1935 and helps educate future leaders about government and civics in a learn-by-doing environment.
“If I could describe the Texas Boys State Program with just one word, I would call it transformative,” Nathani said. “I gained a new appreciation for politics and government processes. From the leadership to the critical decision-making to the synergy, I got a taste of the dedication, impactful work and responsibilities that government officials fulfill. My time there made me realize that although I may not always feel it, politics affect each and every individual and thus it is our duty to take part in it.”
During the week, participants were evenly split into fictional political parties (National and Federalists). Each party and its delegates drafted party platforms, elected party officials, nominated candidates via primary elections and contested a general election against the rival party and its candidates. Delegates ran for offices at the city, county, district and state levels, with those elected to the House of Representatives and Senate spending the week drafting, debating and passing bills on a wide range of social and economic issues.
Nathani was elected precinct chairman for his city and district chairman for his county. He was also a district associate justice court of appeals nominee and served as a state delegate for the Nationalist Party.
“My favorite part of the program was definitely my role as the district chairman,” Nathani said. “Elected by my peers for this position, I represented my district at the state level as a delegate, held elections and gave speeches to my party about our political goals and values. This enabled me to exercise my leadership skills and speak confidently in front of 500 students. As a representative, I also got the chance to have meaningful conversations with my peers, connect with them and work with them to help our party move forward.”
In addition, delegates heard from dozens of distinguished guest speakers, including U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick, members of the Texas House of Representatives and Texas Senate and two retired generals.
On June 15, delegates participated in a parade from the University of Texas campus to the Texas State Capitol. They toured the building, visited their hometown representatives’ offices and heard from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
“All in all, Texas Boys State was one of the best experiences I have ever had,” Nathani said. “I went into it eager to learn about government and emerged with a critical understanding of political processes, a powerful network of remarkable young leaders and the inspiration to use avenues of change to make the world a more positive place.”
Texas Boys State: Langham Creek High School senior Aadil Nathani poses for a photo inside the Texas State Capitol during American Legion Texas Boys State. The educational program exposes attendees to operations of local, county and state governments and met in Austin for the first time in person since 2019.