U.S. Senate Youth Program
U.S. Senate Youth Program
The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP), established in 1962 by U.S. Senate Resolution, is a unique educational experience for outstanding high school students interested in pursuing careers in public service.
USSYP is an intensive week-long educational experience and scholarship sponsored by the United States Senate for outstanding high school juniors and seniors, who may qualify to apply through leadership positions they currently hold per the USSYP official criteria for the current academic year. All student leadership positions are subject to the judgement and verification of the state selection administrators.
The program provides a yearly opportunity for selected students to gain an in-depth view of the Senate and the federal government overall as well as a deeper understanding of the interrelationship of the legislative, judicial and executive branches. Each year two high school juniors or seniors are selected each year from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity to serve as delegates to Washington Week which generally takes place the first or second week of March.
During Washington Week the student delegates meet and learn from the highest level elected and appointed officials in Washington. The delegates attend briefings and meetings with senators, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, cabinet members, federal agency leaders and senior members of the national media. At least seventeen military officers, representing each of the military services and the Coast Guard, serve as mentors for the students during the week. The 104 student delegates also receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship to the college or university of their choice with encouragement to continue coursework in government and history. The Hearst Foundations have fully funded the USSYP since its inception, including transportation, accommodations, meals and individual college scholarships – no government funds are ever utilized.
The selection process begins when public and private high school teachers and principals nominate qualified students starting in early fall. To qualify, students must hold or have held student body office or another elected or appointed position in their communities and show academic interest and aptitude in government, history and politics. The chief state school officer in each state makes the final selection of two delegates and two alternates.
To learn more about the USSYP and apply, visit https://ussenateyouth.org/