Senate Staff

Founded by S. Res. 324 in 1962, the United States Senate Youth Program has been sponsored and supported by the Senate and fully funded and administered by the The Hearst Foundations since that time. No government funds are ever utilized.

Senators provide leadership and are actively involved with the students during Washington Week in several ways. Each year the program’s Honorary Co-Chairs are the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders and the Vice President. In addition, two Senators are chosen, one from each party, to serve as the program Co-Chairs. The Co-Chairs address the student delegates on Monday and Tuesday night of Washington Week and the USSYP staff work closely with the Co-Chairs’ offices to facilitate communication and all event arrangements. Eight additional Senators are chosen for the bipartisan Senate Advisory Committee, which serves in name only.




Vice President Michael R. Pence

Senator Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
Senator Harry Reid
Democratic Leader


Cory Gardner (R-CO)
Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI)


Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
Michael B. Enzi (R-WY)
David Perdue (R-GA)
Tim Scott (R-SC)
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA)
Patrick J. Leahy (D- VT)



During Washington Week, all Senators are invited to meet their student delegates and present them with their scholarship certificates at the Annual USSYP Senate Reception held on Wednesday night in the Senate Caucus Room. This is a highlight of the week for most students, and the one certain opportunity for Senators to meet and congratulate the students from their state. Please note, for security reasons, students are unable to be separated from the group for individual visits to Senate offices.

Another venue where Senators speak substantively with the student delegates is the Bipartisan Platform Lunch featuring Senators from both sides of the aisle addressing issues of the day and taking students’ questions, again in the Senate Caucus Room.

Senate education and press staff can also help support the USSYP in various ways:

  • Put a link to the USSYP website on the Senator’s website so that students or teachers searching the Senator’s site can be made aware of the program and how to apply.
  • The program can be mentioned in the Senator’s newsletter and in press releases.
  • Add USSYP as a talking point when meeting with high school educators in your state.
  • Ensure that your Senator attends the Annual USSYP Senate Reception, the one certain opportunity that your state’s delegates have to meet with their Senators.