He may be the president of Kentucky Boys State right now but 18-year-old Jack Daniels from Paducah Tilghman High School could be the next president of the United States if he can sustain his current momentum. Nominated for Boys State by his school guidance counselor, along with three other students, Jack took the opportunity to learn about leadership to heart.
“A leader is someone that is capable of not only directing and guiding those around them, but also of relating and understanding them as well. Being a leader requires resolve, but you cannot be unreasonable,” says Jack.
The Boys State program is designed to train young future leaders in the fundamentals of good citizenship and government operations. At the end of the training the group nominates a “Mr. Boys State” and Jack was elected the new representative. Jack moved to Paducah with his family from Lake Station, Indiana when he was 10. He says his parents have always played a supportive role.
“My first memories are of my mother teaching me basic reading and writing before I had entered preschool and of my dad telling me that you have to work hard for what you want. My mom always told me to try new things and see what would happen and my dad showed me that I could do anything if I put the effort in,” says Jack.
Jack continues to challenge his abilities in activities at school. Currently he is the captain of the debate team, placing in the top 8 at the last state competition, and has qualified for another upcoming state tournament with the high school speech team.
“I remember everything about my first tournament. It was at WKCTC and I was competing in Broadcasting. I was nervous and scared that after preparation and speculation I wouldn't be able to do well. Now, when I enter a tournament it's much more casual. I'm not looking at everyone fearfully anymore,” says Jack.
Jack hopes to use his leadership skills by practicing corporate law in the future and maybe one day working in a government position. The notion isn’t too far fetched as he has already been accepted to Centre College.