RADFORD, Va. -

This year's session of the American Legion Boys State of Virginia opened today at Radford University.

The educational program showcases outstanding seniors from high schools across Virginia and teaches them the fundamentals of state and local government.

About 800 students registered today.

During the week long session, students will hear from various state and local officials including the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, members of the General Assembly and a judge.

Those part of this year's session say they're excited to get exposure to the political world, something they may not learn in school.

"Boys State provides us with an opportunity to do so, to learn truly what it means to be an American from the citizens' perspective, from the political perspective, basically in a way they don't teach you otherwise," said student Kevin Leinberger.

The program is in its 72nd year.