Former Missouri Governor Bob Holden was in Kansas City over the weekend on what he called “a labor of love."
Holden was in town to greet the first group of Chinese students who will participate in Missouri Boys State and Girls State this year. In total, there'll be 37.
The annual summer sessions give young people an opportunity to learn about American government and actually run a simulated state government.
The Missouri foreign student program is the first in the nation for the American Legion-sponsored program. Holden says it's a rare opportunity to link two sometimes conflicting cultures.
"That's important because you figure out ways to solve your problems with people you know," said Holden. "People you don't know and don't relate to – sometimes that turns into conflict and sometimes very violent conflict that doesn't do any good to anybody.”
The boys congregate this week at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. The girls meet next week. Holden, a former Boys Stater himself, says he has taught in the program for 30 years.