National Press Announcement of the 2015 USSYP


Contact: Rayne Guilford, Program Director
(800) 425-3632
Program website:

Two outstanding high school students from each state, the District of columbia and the department of defense education activity will be selected to spend a week in Washington observing the federal government in action

             WASHINGTON, D.C. — State departments of education across the country have begun their selection processes to choose the 104 high school juniors and seniors for the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). The two students from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the nation’s capital the week of March 7—14, 2015 for the program’s 53rd annual Washington Week.  Students must already be serving in an elected capacity to qualify for application, and each student delegate will also receive a $5,000 college scholarship for undergraduate education with encouragement to continue coursework in history, government and public affairs.  Click here to find your state selection contact to apply:

            The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 as stated in supporting Senate testimony from that year, “to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationship of the three branches of government, the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but for people around the world.”

Since that time, more than 5,000 students have participated in this unique leadership and scholarship program which offers an intensive week-long educational seminar about the history and procedures of the Senate and the federal government overall. USSYP is sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations — no government funds are utilized.

In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to public service, the students generally 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. Among the many distinguished former program delegates are Senator Susan Collins, the first delegate 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; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the first delegate 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, and former presidential advisors Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Karl Rove. Additional notables include former Lt. Governor of Idaho David Leroy, former president of the Progressive Policy Institute Robert Shapiro, military officers, members of state legislatures, Foreign Service officers, top congressional staff, healthcare providers and university educators.

The student delegates will visit Capitol Hill, the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, the Supreme Court and other historic sites in Washington. They will meet with the highest-level officials in the three branches of government and tour historic sites and monuments.

The delegate selection is administered by each state or district’s chief school officer in cooperation with high school principals. Delegates must be juniors or seniors and elected student officers for the 2014-2015 academic year, and they must reside in the state where they attend school.  Eligibility considerations may also be made for student representatives elected or selected (by a panel, commission or board) to district, regional or state-level civic or educational organizations.

Each student must be a permanent resident of the United States and currently enrolled in a public or private secondary school located in the state (including for these purposes the District of Columbia) in which either one of his or her parents or guardians legally resides.  Exceptions to the residency rule are made for the Department of Defense Education Activity and for states with schools under Interstate Compacts.

Names of students selected will be formally announced mid-December.  Since application deadlines vary by state, interested students should contact their high school principal or the state-level selection administrator listed on our website

The 2015 program brochure with detailed rules, selection process and the annual yearbook may also be accessed on the USSYP website