HOPE – Hope High School senior Richard Ware told the Hope Public Schools Board of Education here Monday he learned a key leadership lesson after he won the governorship of Arkansas Boys State, was elected a Boys Nation U.S. Senator, but was not able to secure the nomination to the Boys Nation presidency in July.
“It was a great time; but I learned a lot for the future,” Ware said.
Ware said he learned that leadership is not necessarily the ability to succeed to higher office or position. He said that realization came from passing a bill dealing with rural broadband internet capability by 2025.
“I learned a lot about the legislative process,” he said. “I was super-proud to get my legislation passed; it kind of made up for not getting the presidential nomination.”
Ware said he realized the significance of his achievement when he understood how closely the legislative debate at Boys Nation mirrored the ongoing debate over “infrastructure” development nationally.
“It was great to work with like-minded people,” he said.
Although Ware went into the national program having been Arkansas Boys State Governor, he said the larger arena was a bit intimidating until he began to make friends among other Senators.
Ware said the process was not completely serious as some practical jokes occurred during the week.
“We declared war on Canada,” he quipped.
Ware said he did not completely understand the adult responsibility of the entire experience until he attempted to return home and his flight was cancelled.
“We got all the way through the TSA,” he said, shaking his head.
Does Ware have political aspirations?
“I was told by one of the other Senators that 100 percent of the Senators elected from Hope to date have become President of the United States,” he said after the meeting.
Ware is the third HHS student to have been elected Arkansas Boys State Governor, following Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty, III, in 1963 and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in 1972. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, a Hope native, served as a Boys Nation Senator from Arkansas in 1963.
Ware is a senior student at Hope High School and in the concurrent credit program at the University of Arkansas – Hope. He is the son of Adrienne Ware and Eric Ware.
He is an active, award-winning member of the HHS Band, having been seated in the 2019-2020 Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association Region 2 Jazz Band. He is also a member of the Bobcat varsity football team, HHS golf team and Bobcat baseball team.
Ware also served as a panelist for the Hope Public Schools Black History Month video discussion “Perspectives on a Sound: Black Music in Hope and Southwest Arkansas.”