LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas Boys State, which is sponsored by the American Legion, has appointed DeKevious Wilson and Coleman Warren to new positions to support the program, which has transformed the lives of young men throughout the state and beyond since 1940.

Wilson was appointed Assistant Director of Staff and Warren was appointed Speakership Series Coordinator. Wilson will support the organization’s more than 50 volunteer staff members. Warren will build the program’s slate of keynote speakers to enhance the student experience. 

“DK and Coleman are two of our awesome volunteer staff members who are committed to supporting and empowering Arkansas’ next generation of leaders,” Lloyd Jackson, executive director, said. “These appointments demonstrate their ability to lead Arkansas Boys State in our pursuit to be the premier youth leadership and civic engagement experience in our state.”

Wilson is regional manager for the “Becoming A Man” program in Chicago and is an Obama Foundation Scholar. Since attending Arkansas Boys State as a delegate from West Helena in 2005, he has served the program as a junior counselor, state counselor and senior counselor.

“The goal is always to create a fun, challenging, and safe space for our delegates, and we are keeping their experience at the forefront,” Wilson said. “With that in mind, we must also create that space for our staff by listening to their needs and feedback on how we can be better. Our program is only as good as our staff, and retaining high-performing staff is key to ensuring our program excels year after year.”

Warren is a Rhodes Scholar pursuing his Master of Philosophy in Comparative Social Policy from the University of Oxford. Since attending Arkansas Boys State as a delegate from Farmington in 2017, he has served the program as a junior counselor and state counselor.

“Our keynote speakers are an essential aspect of the experience, and I am excited by the opportunity to bring engaging, insightful and accomplished speakers to illustrate the many paths to public service and how to lead a distinguished career devoted to your community,” Warren said. “The alignment of speakers with the core curriculum has the potential to amplify the delegate experience in a meaningful way.”

Wilson and Warren’s appointments begin immediately to assist with planning Arkansas Boys State 2023, which is May 28 – June 2 at the University of Central Arkansas. Registration for the 2023 program launches Jan. 25. 

Arkansas Boys State is an immersive program in civics education designed for high school juniors. Since 1940, the week-long summer program has transformed the next generation of leaders throughout the state and beyond. These men have become state, national, and international leaders, including Pres. Bill Clinton, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former White House Chiefs of Staff Mack McLarty and Jack Watson Jr., Sen. Tom Cotton, Sen. John Boozman and Arkansas Chief Justice John Dan Kemp.

During their week at Arkansas Boys State, delegates are assigned a political party, city, and county. Throughout the week, delegates, from the ground up, administer this mock government as if it were real: they run for office, draft and pass legislation, solve municipal challenges, and engage constituents. By the week’s end, the delegates have experienced civic responsibility and engagement firsthand while making life-long memories and friends — all with the guiding principle that “Democracy Depends on Me.”