WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) met with and congratulated New Mexico’s two student delegates for the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP), Colette Correa-Bruzzese and Grace Wei, both of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
PHOTOS: Heinrich Congratulates 2023 New Mexico U.S. Senate Youth Program Delegates
Each year, USSYP selects two outstanding high school students from each state and the District of Columbia – as well as two children of service members stationed abroad — are selected in a highly competitive merit-based process to participate in an intensive week-long study of the federal government and its leaders. During the program week, the student delegates attend meetings and briefings with senators, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, and leaders of cabinet agencies, among others. The USSYP also awards each of the student delegates a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship.
“Colette and Grace’s involvement in their communities and dedication to public service is inspiring,” said Heinrich. “It is because of young leaders like them that I know the future of New Mexico and our country is bright. I look forward to seeing all they will accomplish in the years ahead and hope this week will instill in both of them a lifelong commitment to public service.”
Colette Correa-Bruzzese, a senior at St. Pius X High School, serves as the student body 2nd vice president. She is a four-year first honors recipient at her school and currently ranks in the top 10% of her senior class. Colette serves as an usher at her community theater and volunteers at Barrett House, where she and her team serve homeless and impoverished women and their children by providing them with shelter, food, clothing, financial support, and other resources. She recently received the top attorney award for the 2022 Lorenzo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session and was a 2022 Girls Nation senator, 2022 National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar, and an Academic Decathlon 3-time National Silver Medal winner. Colette hopes to attend Georgetown University and intends to pursue studies in political science and international affairs, with an interest in local and international politics.
Grace Wei, a junior at Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School, serves as the Junior Class Student Government representative and is an International Baccalaureate diploma candidate at her school. She recently worked with U.S. Representative Teresa Leger Fernández’s (D-N.M.) campaign office as a fellow and serves as an intern at her local church. Grace also volunteers with the Make-A-Wish foundation, her National Honor Society chapter, and her school's Social Action Club. She was a 2022 national qualifier for the We The People competition and a two-time national qualifier at the National Speech and Debate Association's national tournament. After finishing high school, Grace intends to pursue studies in political science or international affairs, with an interest in environmental law.
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 among high school juniors and seniors. 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. This year’s New Mexico delegates and alternates were designated by then Secretary of Education Kurt Steinhaus.
The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 (S.Res.324) in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception. All expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; as stipulated in S.Res.324, no government funds are utilized.
Learn more about the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP).