United States Senate Youth Program
Two high school student delegates are selected from each state, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense's overseas educational activities after a rigorous testing and interviewing process. Each delegate receives a $5,000 scholarship that can be applied to any U.S. college, as well as an all-expenses paid week-long trip to Washington, D.C. The 104 student delegates are immersed in Washington activities throughout their week's stay. Delegates hear major policy addresses by senators, cabinet members, officials of the Departments of State and Defense and directors of federal agencies, as well as participate in a meeting with a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In most occasions, delegates have a reception with the President of the United States at the White House. Delegates have the opportunity to visit many Washington D.C. landmarks throughout the week and stay at the Mayflower Hotel. 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. They continue to excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service. The competition works closely with many more local organizations like the Florida Law Related Education Association for assistance with participants.
In 1962, the United States Senate voted unanimously to endorse a nationwide youth program that would bring high school students to Washington, D.C., for a brief on-site introduction to the functions of the federal government and, in particular, the United States Senate.
The program was created and originally authorized by Senate Resolution 324 and continued in succeeding years by unanimous action of the Senate.
The resolution specified that the program should be "supported by private funds with no expense to the federal government". The William Randolph Hearst Foundation made available the necessary funds and, each year, two high school juniors or seniors from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense's Overseas Education Program have participated in this unique experience.
In early 1981, the U.S. Senate amended Resolution 324 to provide for the participation of the Department of Defense Education Activity in the United States Senate Youth Program.
- Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the first program delegate elected to the Senate
- Judge Robert Harlan Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals
- Congressman Cory Gardner, of Colorado's 4th Congressional District
- Richard Burt, former Ambassador to West Germany
- Karl Rove, former Presidential Advisor
- Thomas "Mack" McLarty, former Presidential Advisor
- David H. Leroy, former Lt. Governor of Idaho
- Christopher Christie, Governor of New Jersey
Board of directors
James M. Asher
Anissa Boudjakdji Balson
David J. Barrett
Frank A. Bennack, Jr.
John G. Conomikes
Ronald J. Doerfler
Lisa H. Hagerman
George R. Hearst III
William R. Hearst III
Gilbert C. Maurer
Mark F. Miller
Steven R. Swartz