Maine Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program

Students Headed to Washington, D. C. and to Receive $10,000 College Scholarship

The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) announced that high school students Mr. Joseph Eugene Bergeon and Mr. Jay Raj Philbrick will join Senator Susan Collins and Senator Angus King in representing Maine in the nation’s capital during the 57th annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 2 — 9, 2019. Joseph Bergeon of Kennebunk and Jay Philbrick of Limestone were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation who will also each receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.

The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception. Originally proposed by Senators Kuchel, Mansfield, Dirksen and Humphrey, the impetus for the program as stated in Senate testimony is “to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, learn the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and emphasize the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but for people around the world.”

Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program brings the most outstanding high school students – two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity – to Washington, D.C. for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it. The overall mission of the program is to help instill within each class of USSYP student delegates more profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service. In addition to the program week, The Hearst Foundations provide each student with a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs. Transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; as stipulated in S.Res.324, no government funds are utilized.

Joe Bergeon, a senior at Kennebunk High School, serves as a student representative on the Maine R.S.U. 21 Board of School Directors, and is a member of the Class of 2019 Executive Council. He was also the 77th youth governor of the Maine YMCA Youth in Government program. During the summer of 2018, he was sponsored by Senator Susan Collins and served as a United States Senate page. Joe is active in his school’s debate team and is a member of the varsity swim team. He hopes to pursue a degree related to international studies and business.

Jay Philbrick, a junior at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, serves as the treasurer of the Student Senate, and leads by serving as head tutor in his school’s Learning Center and president and founder of his school’s High School Quiz Show Maine team. Jay has been recognized for his academic talents as well through his selection as a Michael P. Fabio grant winner and as a finalist for the Lemelson-MIT grant award. He believes that a degree in economics can help shape a better understanding of public policy and may serve him in a future in public office.

Chosen as alternates to the 2019 program were Ms. Lauren Cooper, a resident of Dover-Foxcroft, who attends Foxcroft Academy and Mr. Logan Holt, a resident of Brunswick, who attends Brunswick High School.

Delegates and alternates are selected by the state departments of education nationwide and the District of Columbia and Department of Defense Education Activity, after being nominated by teachers and principals. For more questions about the process please visit:

For questions about Maine’s delegates, alternates, or state selection process contact Joe Schmidt at or (207) 624-6828.

For general information about the United States Senate Youth Program, contact Program Director, Ms. Rayne Guilford at or (800) 425-3632.