The American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy is now taking applications for its 2017 session. The event, which will be in its 80th year, will be held Sunday, June 4, through Friday, June 9, at Kansas State University in Manhattan.

The ALBSKLA is for young men who will enter their senior year of high school in the fall of 2017. It provides a relevant, interactive, problem-solving experience in leadership and teamwork that develops self-identity, promotes mutual respect and instills civic responsibility. Boys State is a “learning by doing” political exercise that simulates elections, political parties and government at the state, county and local levels, providing opportunities to lead under pressure, showcasing character and working effectively within a team. It’s also an opportunity to gain pride and respect for government and the price paid by members of the military to preserve democracy.

At a minimum, applicants should be in the top half of their high school class and be involved in extracurricular activities in their school and community. Potential delegates can also be nominated to attend by their high school counselor or other influential people in their lives.

The cost to attend the Boys State of Kansas program is $325; however, in many instances, sponsors pay for the majority of the fees, with the delegate or his family paying a $50 applicant fee.

Those wishing to apply to the program should visit http://kansasboysstate.com/ to fill out an application, which are due by Friday, March 31, along with the fees to guarantee a spot in the program.

Potential sponsors, such as American Legion posts, civic organizations, businesses, clubs and interested individuals, or those with questions, should contact Troy Fowler, ALBSKLA director of operations, at troy.fowler@ksbstate.org.