Students to Participate in the First Online Program and to Receive $10,000 Scholarship
The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) announces that high school students Mr. Iann Leigh and Mr. Hilton Scott Petersen will join Senator Susan M. Collins and Senator Angus S. King in representing Maine during the 59th annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 14 — 17, 2021. Iann Leigh of Bangor and Hilton Petersen of Nobleboro were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation who will each also receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study. Due to the pandemic, the 2021 program will break ground as the first-ever fully virtual Washington Week, and is designed to be a highly interactive and exciting education and leadership forum for the nation’s most outstanding student leaders. During the program week, the student delegates will attend online meetings and briefings with senators, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies and senior members of the national media, among others.
Iann Leigh, a junior at Bangor High School, serves as a representative to the Student Council and secretary of the Class Council. He started his leadership career as a Boy Scout senior patrol leader where he organized multiple service projects for area causes. Iann has served as manager of a state senate campaign and has interned for political campaigns for the Maine Republican Party. A member of his school’s debate team where he won the junior varsity state champion award in 2020, Iann has successfully coached new members to ensure their success. (Photo curtesy of Bangor School Department)
Scott Petersen, a senior at Lincoln Academy, serves as president of the Senior Class, was appointed co-captain of the debate team for both the state champion 2019 team and State runner-up 2020 team, and has been an individual debate national qualifier. In addition to debate activities, Scott is an award-winning speaker with his local Rotary organization, leads the Alpha Gamma service fraternity as co-president, serves as a member of the National Honor Society, and is a three-time recipient of Lincoln Academy’s English Award. Scott volunteers at local food pantries, the town of Nobleboro’s summer festival, and at a local nature preserve. He has studied Spanish abroad, plays five instruments, has starred in past musical productions and has played varsity tennis. Scott plans to continue his studies of economics, politics, and policy at Brown University next year. (Photo curtesy of Aria Tan)
Chosen as alternates to the 2021 program were Mr. Joseph Labrie, a resident of Cape Elizabeth, who attends Cape Elizabeth High School and Mr. Zachary Whiting, a resident of Cumberland, who attends Greely High School.
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 Senate leadership of the day, 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.”
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. To learn more about USSYP in Maine, check out https://www.maine.gov/doe/learning/content/social/USSYP