Blaise Tayese said he had a “once in a lifetime experience” as governor of American Legion Buckeye Boys State. The rising senior at Washington Court House was elected as this year’s governor of Buckeye Boys State, winning over 65 percent of the vote in a landslide victory.
Tayese was one of six boys from Washington Court House High School who was selected to attend the eight-day program — held last week — during which 1,200 boys run their own miniature state government. American Legion Post 25 and Post 653 selected a total of 15 young men from Fayette County to participate this year.
During the program, each boy has a job to do. Some are members of the legislature, while others man the National Guard, one writes the daily speeches which the governor delivers, and one even acts as the dog warden.
The highest position in the government is that of governor.
Trevor Patton, director of marketing and communications at Washington C.H. City Schools, said Tayese’s election as governor made him the highest Buckeye Boys State official to ever come from WCH schools. Patton said he’s proud of all of the WCH students who attended Buckeye Boys State, and “We’re definitely proud of Blaise for making Washington Court House history.”
Tayese said he decided to run for governor because he has a “go big or go home” approach to life and has “always been an ambitious person.” Tayese campaigned by getting to know as many other boys as possible, creating posters with the help of friends, and coining slogans such as “Blazing a trail toward a bright future.”
Once he was elected, Tayese found that the position of governor is a busy one. He spent his days signing bills, running assemblies, delivering speeches, and addressing the concerns of the constant stream of boys who came knocking at his office door.
Tayese was tasked with signing bills that the House and Senate passed. He said he signed “a lot of good bills.” These included bills that would cover the care for individuals with autism with Medicaid and that would protect farmers. The bill he was most proud of was one that was meant to address the opioid crisis. The bill called for strict limits of the prescription of opioids and established a rehabilitation center to help individuals who are struggling with addiction.
Although the boys were busy running their government, Tayese said there was still time to have fun and make friends. He said his favorite part of the week was “all the connections I made.” He said he loved getting to meet boys from all over the state “and then to develop bonds and friendships. It was really an experience.”
Tayese was very grateful for the opportunity to participate in Buckeye Boys State, and said he wanted to thank the veterans who interviewed him “for giving me the opportunity to go,” the legionnaires at Buckeye Boys State, everyone in the school district who supported and congratulated him, and his parents for “giving me lessons and teachings on how to be a good leader, but most importantly, I think, how to be a good person.”
Tayese, who is an ace anatomy student, said he plans to study biology in college and plans to become a neurosurgeon. He said he will always remember his time at Buckeye Boys State. He added, “They call it a week to shape a lifetime and it is, it really is.”