FROM READERS: Columbia youth participate in Missouri Boys State

Thursday, August 2, 2012 | 5:37 p.m. CDT; updated 12:52 p.m. CDT, Friday, August 3, 2012
Brandon Kellogg, Scott Whitehill, Trent Powell and Gage Kiesling participated in Missouri Boys State together.

The families of the young men written about below submitted this press release from the Missouri Boys State offices. Missourian staff combined them to create one story.

Updated Friday, Aug. 3, to add an additional participant.


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Gage Ryan Kiesling, Scott Graham Whitehill and Kyle Andrew Rainey participated in The American Legion Boys State of Missouri June 16-23 on the campus of the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. They were selected based on their leadership, citizenship, academics, and character during their junior years at Hickman High School.

Boys State is a pure democracy in that all citizens may vote and are eligible to hold office. The program is designed to educate and train Missouri's young leaders in functional citizenship, leadership and government. Nearly 1,000 student leaders build an entire state government in a single week.

Kiesling's accomplishments, positions held, and awards earned at Missouri Boys State include: Citizen of Boone City; Member of the Federalist Party; Assistant Health Commissioner, Ward III; Election Judge - County; Election Judge - State Primary; and Delegate to State Convention, Ward III. Kiesling attended Democracy Academy while participating in Boys State.

Whitehill's accomplishments, positions held, and awards earned at Missouri Boys State include: Citizen of Gambrel City; Member of the Federalist Party; City Council; City Party Secretary; and Ward Committeeman, Ward II. Whitehill attended Law Enforcement School while participating in Boys State.

Rainey's accomplishments, positions held and awards earned at Missouri Boys State include: Citizen of Alcorn City; Member of the Nationalist Party; Delegate to STate Convention, Ward II; Citizen of the Model City; and Capital Policeman. Rainey attended Law Enforcement School while participating in Boys State.

Kiesling, son of Mary and Rob Kiesling, was sponsored by Daniel Boone Little League. Whitehill, son of Trish Whitehill, was sponsored by Directors' Scholarship Fund. Rainey, son of Robin and Tim Rainey, was sponsored by Terry B. and Barbara McDonald.

Sponsors afford the opportunity for students to participate in this nationally recognized program and are critical to its continued success. Organizations, businesses, and individuals interested in becoming a sponsor are encouraged to contact the Missouri Boys State Headquarters at 1-877-342-5627.

The entire Boys State staff is comprised of educational, legal, professional, and civic leaders who volunteer their time each year. Missouri Boys State is a 501(c)(3) organization and is a Missouri American Legion program.

Students who will be juniors during the 2012-13 academic year and are interested in attending should contact their high school counselor or visit the Missouri Boys State website at The 2013 session will be held June 15-22. In-school informational presentations by a Boys State staff member are available by contacting the Missouri Boys State Headquarters at 1-877-342-5627 or email

What have you and your family been up to this summer? If you have activities or accomplishments you'd like to share with the community, email

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer

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