LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The American Legion Arkansas Boys State Commission has announced the creation of a new team to support the program’s outreach, reputation-building, and engagement with constituents.

The Engagement Team will lead Arkansas Boys State’s constituent relations, strategic partnerships, and media and communication efforts. Kaleb Turner of Fayetteville has been named Director of Engagement and will lead the newly created team as part of the program’s 50-plus-person volunteer staff. 

“Arkansas Boys State has been a time-honored tradition in our state since 1940 — where the state’s next generation of leaders come to learn and grow alongside one another,” Turner said. “We’re eager to start work on a thoughtful strategy for connecting with our American Legion members, educators, parents, state leaders, and alumni and for ensuring our reputation as a premier leadership program grows as we approach our 100-year anniversary and beyond.” 

Turner has been part of Arkansas Boys State since his delegate year in 2014, in which he represented Pangburn High School. He has served the program since as a junior counselor, state counselor, senior counselor and, most recently, as communications manager. 

Lloyd Jackson, executive director of Arkansas Boys State, said he looks forward to seeing the program’s influence and reach grow under Turner’s leadership of the new team. 

“For the past several years, I have watched Kaleb and his passion for Arkansas Boys State,” Jackson said. “He does great work with our public relations, communications, and recruitment. I’m looking forward to seeing him continue to build a team and improve upon the engagement of this life-changing program.”

Turner is the assistant director of communications for the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Harding University and a Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Arkansas. 

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.”