MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Questions about your state’s delegates, alternates or state selection process: Mr. Joe Schmidt at joe.schmidt@maine.gov or (207) 624-6828.

For general information about the United States Senate Youth Program:  Program Director Ms. Rayne Guilford at rguilford@hearstfdn.org or (800) 425-3632.

Maine Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program
Students Headed to Washington, D. C. and to Receive $10,000 College Scholarship

January 9, 2020, Washington, D.C. —The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) announces that high school students Ms. Elena Ray Clothier and Mr. Michael Paul Delorge will join Senator Susan M. Collins and Senator Angus S. King in representing Maine in the nation’s capital during the 58th annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 7 — 14, 2020. Elena Clothier of Lewiston and Michael Delorge 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.

Elena Clothier, a junior at Lewiston High School, serves on the Principal’s Advisory Group at her school. She is a member of the state champion Lewiston Mock Trial team while also being a member of the school lacrosse team and the Blue Notes vocal group. She has been selected to participate in programming from the Androscoggin Valley Education Collaborative. Outside of school, Elena volunteers with SEARCH (Seek Elderly Alone, Renew Courage and Hope) and visits with members of her community. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a degree in political science and journalism.

Michael Delorge, a senior at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, serves as a member of his school’s Student Senate. He also chairs the Senate’s Academic Committee, is the president of his school’s robotics club, and an active member of his astronomy club. He is an award-winning jazz saxophonist and avid cross country runner. A Biddeford native, Michael is an Eagle Scout and a participant in the state YMCA Youth in Government program. Michael holds a great interest in public health policy and upon graduation, he plans to major in biomedical engineering with a minor in political science.

Chosen as alternates to the 2020 program were Mr. Lance Dinino, a resident of Kennebunk, who attends Kennebunk High School and Ms. Kristen Caldwell, a resident of Scarborough, who attends Scarborough 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 nomination by teachers and principals. The chief state school officer for each jurisdiction confirms the final selection. This year’s Maine delegates and alternates were designated by Pender Makin, Commissioner of Education.

While in Washington the student delegates attend meetings and briefings with senators, members of the House of Representatives, Congressional staff, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, an ambassador to the United States and senior members of the national media.

In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, the student delegates rank academically in the top one percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors. Now more than 5,700 strong, alumni of the program continue to excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service. Among the many distinguished alumni are: Senator Susan Collins, the first alumnus to be elected U.S. senator; Senator Cory Gardner, the second alumnus to be elected U.S. senator and the first to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives; former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the first alumnus to be elected governor; former Chief Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt, former presidential advisors Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Karl Rove, and Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana currently a candidate for president of the United States. Additional notables include former Lt. Governor of Idaho David Leroy, Provost of Wake Forest University Rogan Kersh, military officers, members of state legislatures, Foreign Service officers, top congressional staff, healthcare providers and other university educators.

For more information please visit: http://www.ussenateyouth.org
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