Boys State: Where Are the Texas Participants Now?

‘Boys State’ is arguably one of the most intriguing documentaries of the past few years since it examines politics, governments, and individualities in the rawest form. By showing us the experiences of Texan teenagers who are trying to form a state government on their own, from scratch, this AppleTV+ release can easily be described as ‘The Politician’ meeting ‘American Vandal.’

Every year, around 1,100 high school students enter this American Legion program of the same name to be randomly assigned to two non-ideological parties – the Federalists and the Nationalists. And, somehow, amongst the four major features of this documentary, three of them – Steven Garza, Rene Otero, and Robert MacDougall – ended up being from the latter, with Ben Feinstein as the sole Federalist.

Steven Garza is Now a Part of the US House of Representatives

Steven Garza is probably one of the most talked-about features in this documentary – not just because of his success but also because of his personality and intentions. Rather than focusing on his or his party’s beliefs and shoving them down other people’s throats, he talked to the individuals – from both parties – to understand their issues and grievances, and planned his campaign accordingly. He wasn’t wrong when he said that he was a progressive person in a room full of conservatives, however, by the end, he realized that they all had a lot of common ground, especially when it came to human rights. And so, even though he lost in the general elections, he “defied failure” and walked away with the experience of a lifetime.

Back then, he was a student at Katy ISD’s Mayde Creek High School, but now, as a college graduate, he has put all his learning, knowledge, and growth into doing better and forming great connections with everyone. Therefore, of course, he did succeed in becoming the first in his family to graduate high school, and we’re sure he has made his parents proud. As for where he is now, well, this University of Texas 2023 graduate as well as Austin resident is still involved in the political world. He actually currently serves as a Constituent Advocate & Scheduling Assistant in the US House of Representatives.

Rene Otero is a Man of Many Hats

Our first impression of Rene Otero came with his empowering speech, and because it was so positive, after that, we started rooting for him every step of the way. Honestly, because his words were backed up by his actions and proofs, it wasn’t really a surprise that he won State Chairman. Rene made it clear that he was very “inspecific” in his speech for a reason. He showed his hand on where he stood for the country but not for particular policies because he knew that being completely left-wing or right-wing has helped nobody.

This Chicago native, a graduate of Hendrickson High School in the Pflugerville school district, has since been achieving greatness. In 2019, he became the first black teen to ever win the National Speech & Debate Association’s National Tournament in Dallas, by defeating 242 other students. And, his exemplary speaking skills also made him the recipient of the President’s Bowl. Now, as an International Relations & Global Studies graduate of the College of Liberal Arts in the University of Texas-Austin, Rene is an Advocate, Non-Profit Representative, as well as a Grant Manager. Along with that, ever since May 2019, he has also been working as a self-employed speech consultant.

Robert MacDougall Leads a Quiet Life Today

Robert MacDougall captured our attention from the second we saw him on our screens thanks to his charismatic personality. This Austin jock was vying for governor and got all 30 endorsement signatures on the first night itself. His way to go about his campaign was simple; talk about what the party wants and focus on only that. However, when he lost and looked back upon it, he realized that maybe, deep down, these teenage boys did want seriousness and heart from their leaders, which Robert had not provided. Instead of talking about his own views, he gave half-hearted statistics, which ultimately became his downfall.

Robert mentioned that he would only be applying to West Point University, and that’s what he did. By the time he graduated from St. Andrews Episcopal School, a private co-educational college preparatory independent school, in 2019, he had received his acceptance letter from West Point. So, he seemingly graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he learned, trained, and prepared to serve his country, in 2023. Unfortunately, we don’t know much more about him since he prefers to lead his life well away from the limelight these days.

Ben Feinstein Has Chosen to Lead a Private Life

While there’s no denying Ben wasn’t exaggerating when he deemed himself a “political junkie,” it was his unique viewpoint as a bilateral amputee that made him incredibly intriguing. After all, having lived with a disability ever since the age of 3 owing to meningitis, he has long known a thing or two about hard work, hope, as well as faith, which he hoped to instill in everyone around him. It thus comes as no surprise he ended up becoming the State Chairman of the Federalist Party, following which he even led them to win the general elections, albeit by using some dirty tactics.

In the years since Ben has left the Texas State Capitol’s Boys State, he has seemingly learned a lot, made evident by the fact he doesn’t support any or the dirty, personal tactics he used back then. We should also mention that he enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2019 to study Peace, War, & Defense, only to later switch to History plus Russian-area Studies/Philosophy at Southern Methodist University (SMU). Therefore, since even he prefers to lead a quiet life well away from the spotlight at the moment, as per the last reports in 2022, this Texas native proudly serves as a Student Researcher on US-Russian Relations at the Center for Presidential History at SMU.

Read More: Where Is Ben Feinstein From Boys State Now?