Hou returns from Boys Nation with new perspective, new friendships

Saturday, August 7, 2004

By Steve Moyer

Nevada Daily Mail

Justin Shaw-Jung Hou, 17, son of Tony Wen-Chih Hou and Heidi Hsi-Yun Hou, has a resume that many older adults would envy. Hou recently returned to Nevada, after having served as Senator from Missouri to the American Legion Boys Nation, conducted in and around Washington, D.C.

Delegates to the week-long event are selected based on outstanding qualities of leadership, character, scholarship, loyalty and service to their schools. Each represents his state in a mock senate, which follows the rules and procedures of the real U.S. Senate.

Delegates took up discussions about some real-world problems that affect the country such as the assault weapons ban and welfare reform but there was some time on the final day for some less than crucial legislation to make it to the floor.

"On the last day we passed a bill to make a Senator dance," Hou said.

Hou isn't going to make politics his major in college, he says he plans on majoring in engineering, but said he thinks it was a great experience.

"I'll probably study some political science but I don't plan to do anything with it," Hou said. "I plan on majoring in engineering."

Hou said he probably won't be getting too involved in student politics either. When he gets to college he plans to hit the books.

"For the most part I want to focus on my studies," Hou said.

Hou said there were a lot of activities, the most interesting to him was how bills were amended.

Boys Nation combines lectures, forums and field trips to federal agencies, institutions and historical sites during the week

Each year, each of 48 American Legion state-level departments select two exceptional Boys State graduates to represent the respective states at The American Legion Boys Nation. Boys Nation is designed to instill in each delegate a deep loyalty to America and provides practical insight in to the operation of the federal government. Actual participation in the political process is significant throughout the week's activities including the organization of party conventions and the nomination and election of a Boys Nation president and vice president.

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