Archived Story

BHS senior elected Boys Nation president

Published 11:47am Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Brewer High School senior Matthew Ellow, the reigning Boys State Governor of Alabama, was elected president of Boys Nation in Washington, D.C., last week.

He narrowly defeated Joshua Cook from Knoxville, Tenn. by a vote of 52-46.

Louis Lombardo of Arlington, Texas, was elected Boys Nation vice president, 73-24, over Michael Hill of Broken Arrow, Okla.

“What a tremendous honor,” said Morgan County Superintendent Bill Hopkins. “I’m impressed with his hard work. He is a perfect example of a student leader, and a model for his community, school and Boys Nation.”

Brewer High Principal Jeremy Childers said he was not surprised that Ellow was chosen as the leader of Boys Nation.

“He has blossomed through the JROTC program,” stated Childers. “He realized early on what he wanted to get out of high school and has taken advantages of the resources available to him at Brewer to move forward.”

In his campaign speech to the Boys Nation Senators, Ellow spoke about the need to restore belief in each other, the U.S. Constitution, Americanism and patriotism,

The Boys Nation senators form Oregon put Ellow over the top, giving him s his 49th and 50th votes. Ellow said he was “surprised” about the outcome because he didn’t feel like he was going to win.

Ellow said he didn’t do well in the presidential debate and felt Cook had won “a clear victory. I knew Josh had it.”

However, he said one of his friends spoke with him during dinner and said. “Listen, we’ve got you. We’re going to get you in. Don’t worry, Don’t stress.”

At that moment, Ellow said that shivers ran down his spine.

“That was the shining moment of my career as a leader, just knowing that all the work I gave back, all the help I’ve given people this week – and I think that, for once, it finally paid off put me before them.”

Regardless of the circumstances, Ellow said the election was a humbling experience, knowing that “97 of the brightest, most brilliant, most creative, overwhelmingly intelligent minds in the United States vested in me their confidence to lead them to a better America.”

In the months ahead, Ellow plans to campaign at his school to get people to go to Boys State and Boys Nation, “and I’m not going to have to do much campaigning. It took me nine to 10 hours to realize that this was going to be the week that shapes who I am as a person.

“The American Legion, in and of itself, is an absolutely wonderful program to help veterans. I got involved with the American Legion in ninth grade, and I stay involved with them. It’s a great civic and patriotic training program that I believe all of the youth need to be involved in – all of them.”

American Legion Post 15 in Decatur served as Ellow’s Boys State sponsor.

When asked about their vision of the country’s future, Cook said he wanted to see America become once again a powerhouse of innovation with a strong economy. Ellow said his vision was simple: “I want to be free, prosperous and work together – live in peace and security.”

Ellow is interested in pursuing a military career. He had an appointment with Fifth District Congressman Senator Bo Brooks’ Decatur on Tuesday to make application for an appointment to West Point Military Academy. He currently serves as a Lt. Cmdr, with Brewer’s JROTC.

At Brewer, Ellow is captain of the track and cross country team, president of Student Leadership and an Ambassador.

He is the son of Andy and Kathleen Ellow of Lacey’s Spring.

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