HILLSDALE, N.J. — Eight Pascack Valley High School senior delegates, including quadruplets from Hillsdale, graduated Boys State and Girls State with honors.
The 81-year-old program, sponsored by the American Legion, educates and motivates young men and women for one week to become civic-minded leaders.
Graduates of the week-long experience include Zoltan, Cleo, Paxton, and Laszlo Horvath of Hillsdale; Hugh Cassidy of Hillsdale; Matthew Novakowski of Hillsdale; Justin Sison of River Vale; and Matthew Urrea of River Vale.
“I’m extremely proud of them,” said Zoltan Horvath, father of the 17-year-old quadruplets. “They’re all honor students. Two are EMTs. One is going to school this summer to become an EMT. All four are black belts in karate.”
The best part, he added, is that three work in the community with the Hillsdale Volunteer Ambulance Service.
“It’s a great rewarding thing for them to do,” he said.
Boys State and Girls State took place last week at Rider and Georgian Court universities.
Together, the delegates form a mythical 51st state of the union by electing their own local, state, and national representatives. Activities include legislative sessions, general assemblies, court proceedings, athletics, band, and career seminars, among many others.
This year, seminars and speeches were given by various state government officials, including U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Bob Menendez, U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, Ass. Holly Schepisi.
All expenses associated with attending Boys State and Girls State are typically donated by sponsoring American Legion Posts, such as Post 162 of Hillsdale, Woodcliff Lake and Old Tappan, as well as local business, and community-based organizations.
Candidates are selected based on academic achievement, leadership, patriotism, community involvement, and extracurricular activities.
Boys State and Girls State have graduated some famous alumni, including Neil Armstrong, Tom Brokaw, Garth Brooks, President Bill Clinton, Rush Limbaugh, Roger Ebert, and George Pataki.