CHEYENNE, Wyo. — High school students interested in pursuing a career in public service have an opportunity each year to experience government at work, and applications for that opportunity are open now.
The U.S. Senate Youth Program, established in 1962, is now accepting applications for its educational experience March 4–11, 2023. Applications may be submitted online by clicking here.
Two high school juniors or seniors are selected each year from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity for an intensive week-long experience and scholarship sponsored by the U.S. Senate, according to the program’s website. High school juniors and seniors may qualify to apply through leadership positions they currently hold per the USSYP official criteria for the current 2022–2023 academic year.
The program’s mission is to give students an in-depth view of the Senate and federal government as well as to foster a deeper understanding of the relationships between the legislative, judicial and executive branches.
“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 website states. “The military mentors are competitively selected by Department of Defense staff, representing one of the longest standing partnerships between the Department of Defense and a national youth program. This in-depth exposure to leadership at the highest levels is precisely what fuels and sustains the delegates’ commitment to making a difference in their country, communities and schools.”
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 program since its inception, including transportation, accommodations, meals and individual college scholarships, the website states. No government funds are ever used.
“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 website states.
Candidate selection is expected in the fall.