Senate Staff : Overview for 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.
All Senators are invited to meet their student delegates and present them with their scholarship certificates at the USSYP Annual Senate Reception, which takes place on Wednesday of Washington Week in the Kennedy Caucus Room. Senators are photographed with their student delegates for the USSYP yearbook – a tradition of more than 60 years, and personally sign their delegates’ scholarship certificates. 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.
Senators are also invited to speak substantively with the student delegates during other events during Washington Week, addressing issues of the day and taking students’ questions. All events are closed to the media.
Senate education and press staff can also help support the USSYP in various ways:
- Put a link to the USSYP website www.ussenateyouth.org on the senator’s website so that students or teachers searching the 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 USSYP Annual Senate Reception, the one certain opportunity that your state’s delegates have to meet with their senators.