Fruit Heights couple helps mentor and advise youthMay 06, 2022 02:47PM ● By Kierstynn King
Retired veterans Chuck and Paula Stephenson have lived in Fruit Heights for almost 17 years. After moving to Utah in 2005, both Chuck and Paula got involved with the American Legion Department of Utah.
The American Legion is a patriotic veterans organization that mentors youth, sponsors programs in communities, advocates patriotism, honor, promoting national security and continued devotion to service members and veterans.
“One of the programs American Legion offered that always interested us was the Boys State program,” Chuck said.
The American Legion Boys State program provides high school juniors with the opportunity to learn about city, county and state government. Operated by the students elected to various offices, students then participate in activities like legislative sessions, court proceedings, law-enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, choruses and recreational programs.
“We do community events with our honor guard, we do military funeral honors and food drives for the military families up on base,” Paula said.
Chuck and Paula credit their involvement with The American Legion that helped them get their start in being heavily active in their community.
“We live across the street from Fruit Heights mayor John Pohlman,” Chuck said. “He knew of our association with Boys State, and asked us if we would be interested in working with the youth city council as advisors, and that’s how it all began.”
The youth city council gives Fruit Heights teens an opportunity to work closely with the city, its residents, be able to plan and participate in service projects, help with city sponsored events like Trunk or Treat, Easter egg hunts, food drives, shoe drives and blood drives. Participants in the youth city council are also given the opportunity to gain experience in leadership.
“One of the pillars of The American Legion is Americanism, and we felt that we could incorporate that into our work with the youth city council,” Paula said. “We taught them about the voting process and why it’s so important to vote.”
Even with their term on the youth city council ending this summer, Chuck and Paula plan to continue their work with The American Legion and Boys State program. λ