The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP), established in 1962, is a unique educational experience for outstanding high school students. Each year, two student leaders from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity spend a week in Washington, D.C., experiencing their national government in action. Student delegates hear major policy addresses by senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of other federal agencies. Delegates also participate in a meeting with a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition, each delegate will be awarded a $10,000 college scholarship. All transportation, hotel and meal expenses are provided by the Hearst Foundations.
Maine delegates are nominated by their principal and must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Students are permanent residents of the U.S., and one of their parents or guardians is a legal resident of Maine.
- Students are juniors or seniors in a Maine school.
- Students must have been elected or appointed to one of the following posts for the current school year:
- Member or officer of student council, student senate or equivalent student government organization
- Class officer – president, vice president, secretary or treasurer
- Student representative on a district-, regional- or state-level civic and/or educational organization
Informational packets and specific instructions were mailed to high school principals and headmasters in August. Each principal may nominate one eligible student for consideration.
Oct. 17 is the deadline for completed applications to be sent via postal mail to: USSYP Coordinator; Maine Department of Education; 23 State House Station; Augusta, Maine 04333.
On Oct. 31 up to 10 finalists will be notified of advancement to the final round, then in November the 10 finalists will convene in Augusta for interviews with a selection committee. The two finalists and two alternates will be announced in December.
Application materials and more information about the USSYP can be found here.