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U.S. Senate Youth Program
How Our Federal Government Works - Close Up
The United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution in 1962 creating the UNITED STATES SENATE YOUTH PROGRAM (USSYP), a national non-partisan initiative to provide an annual opportunity for talented high school students with demonstrated leadership abilities to deepen their understanding of America’s political processes and strengthen their resolve to pursue careers in public service.
The USSYP brings the highest-level officials from each branch of government to meet with this outstanding group of young leaders—two high school juniors or seniors from each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) —for an intensive week-long education and leadership program held in Washington, D.C. The program is merit-based and highly competitive. Each student will also receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to pursue coursework in history and political science. Now in its fifty-seventh year, the program has been fully funded since inception by THE HEARST FOUNDATIONS as an enduring commitment to preparing young people for civic leadership in our participatory democracy.
Numbering more than 5,500, USSYP alumni serve the country in many ways. They have become leaders in government, law, business, education, journalism, the military, medicine, health care, higher education and many other fields. Alumni serve as elected and appointed officials at all levels of government, including two current United States senators, many congressional staff members, a former governor, former senior political advisors to the president of the United States, former ambassadors and former federal judges. The commonality to all of their success is the desire to serve.
Colorado's 2019 Delegates
Each student must be a legal permanent resident or citizen of the United States at the time of application. The student must be enrolled for the entire academic year in a public or independent high school located in the state (including for these purposes the District of Columbia) in which at least one of their parents or guardians currently resides. The student applicant must currently be serving in an elected capacity in any one of the following student government, civic or educational organizations and continue to serve in that elected position for the entire school year:
· Student Body President, Vice President, Secretary, or Treasurer;
· Class President, Vice President, Secretary, or Treasurer;
· Student Council Representative;
· National Honor Society officer; or
· Student representative elected or appointed (appointed by a panel, commission or board) to a local, district, regional or state-level civic, service and/or educational organization approved by the Colorado Department of Education.
Selection will be based on academic accomplishments, community service, and demonstrated qualities of leadership for the current school year.
2021 Application Process and Deadline
Due to the many uncertainties posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, The Hearst Foundations’ planning for Washington Week 2021 is currently on hold and applications nationwide are NOT being accepted at this time. Please check for updates here that we will post as soon as we have heard from the USSYP with additional information.
Questions? Please contact Patty Gleason at Gleason_P@cde.state.co.us.