Conklin, Gonzales elected to serve at Boys State

Arkansas Boys State is still ongoing but it has been a good week, so far, for Ben Conklin and Dominic Gonzales, who both attend Maumelle Charter and who were both elected to office.

Boys State is an annual event that is sponsored by the American Legion and is designed to give experience in leadership and civic engagement.

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Gonzales was elected to City Council for Cantrell City while Conklin was elected as a State Senator for his congressional district.

Gonzales was elected by other attendees during city elections on Monday. It is designed  where students build a mock government structure for 16 different cities. Each city has its own city council, vice mayor, and mayor.

"City elections lay the groundwork for the rest of the week at Arkansas Boys State," said David Saterfield, director of instruction for Arkansas Boys State. "From here, Dominic will lead citizens in his city as they navigate simulations and city problems, working as their representative to develop and advocate solutions for their community this week. This is just the first step in the transformative leadership journey that students embark on this week."

Conklin was elected during district elections on Tuesday. For Boys State, Arkansas has eight different congressional districts each with four senators and 12 representatives.

"Being elected as State Senator is quite the special opportunity for Ben and his fellow legislators," Saterfield said "He'll get an up-close and personal look at the legislative process with his own state legislators leading him through the process."

That process included meeting with Arkansas legislators on Wednesday and a debate and vote on mock legislation will be held at the state capitol on Friday.

"I'm excited to see what ideas Ben and his fellow legislators bring to the House and Senate floors on Friday," Saterfield said. "I hope these Arkansas Boys State legislators take it all in when they're at the capitol. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Also attending Boys State from Maumelle Charter is Oaken Pool and he, along with Gonzales and Conklin are among more than 400 students from around the state at the University of Central Arkansas for the week.