The American Legion offers a number of scholarships and other resources to assist young people in their pursuit of higher education. Each year, the Legion facilitates the awarding of millions of dollars in scholarships to high school students. There are opportunities for everyone, including kin of wartime veterans and participants in Legion programs. The Legion also publishes a valuable resource in “Need a Lift?” – a comprehensive guide to seeking and obtaining scholarships.
Boys State Scholarship
American Legion Boys State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for high school students. It is a participatory program where each participant becomes a part of the operation of his local, county and state government.
Boys State has been a program of The American Legion since 1935 when it organized to counter the Fascist inspired Young Pioneer Camps. The program was the idea of two Illinois Legionnaires, Hayes Kennedy and Harold Card, who organized the first Boys State at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.
The American Legion Auxiliary sponsors a similar program for young ladies called Girls State. At American Legion Boys State, participants are exposed to the rights and privileges, the duties and the responsibilities of a franchised citizen. The training is objective and practical with city, county and state governments operated by the students elected to the various offices. Activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, chorus and recreational programs.
High school juniors are selected by local American Legion Posts to attend the program. In most cases, expenses associated with attending this program are paid by a sponsoring American Legion Post, a local business or another community-based organization.
American Legion Boys State is currently conducted in 49 Departments of The American Legion. Hawaii does not conduct a program. As separate corporations, Boys States vary in content and method of procedure, but each and every Boys State adheres to the basic concept of the program – that of teaching government from the township to the state level.
STANLEY JOHNSON NURSING / HEALTH SCIENCE SCHOLARSHIP
The Stanley Johnson Nursing / Health Science Scholarship is awarded to the student who continues his/her higher education pursuing a degree in nursing/medical or health science fields.
Stanley Johnson came to the United States from England at the age of 15. He worked for many years at the U.S. Challenge Company in Batavia, Illinois and later at Burgess-Norton in Geneva, Illinois. Stanley Johnson so loved this country that he joined the United States Armed Forces in World War I.
After being honorably discharged Stanley married Hattie Swan and together they worked tirelessly for the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary. Stanley served 52 years as Treasurer American Legion Post 504.
This scholarship was established by the Johnson’s in honor of his niece, Jean Johnson, who was a British nurse. Because of the importance of encouraging our youth to become future doctors, nurses or other health related professionals American Legion Post ___ has continued awarding this scholarship to date.