WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced the beginning of the statewide application process for the highly competitive United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP), and encouraged outstanding New Mexico high school juniors and seniors to apply. Two New Mexico students will be selected as delegates to the 53rd annual Washington Week program. They will join 102 student delegates from around the country on an all expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., from March 7 – 14, 2015, for an intensive educational program about the workings of the U.S. Senate and federal government. Additionally, each selected participant will receive a $5,000 college scholarship.
The USSYP was established by the U.S. Senate in 1962 to help increase young Americans' understanding of the relationships between the three branches of government, the duties of federally elected and appointed officials, and the importance and impact of democratic decision-making in the U.S. and throughout the world. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Senate, and fully funded by the Hearst Foundations. Students selected to participate in the program will visit Capitol Hill, the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the Supreme Court. The agenda frequently includes meetings with senators, the president, cabinet secretaries, a U.S. Supreme Court justice, senior members of the national media and other policy makers.
"The United States Senate Youth Program provides an outstanding opportunity for exceptional New Mexico students to delve into the heart of America’s political processes,” Udall said. “I encourage New Mexico student leaders interested in learning more about the federal government and public service to apply.”
“I encourage New Mexico students interested in understanding how the U.S. Senate and our federal government work to apply for this fantastic opportunity," Heinrich said. "The United States Senate Youth Program not only provides delegates with the chance to represent our state in our nation’s capital, but it also helps instill a lifelong commitment to public service and provides them with a college scholarship to help with tuition costs. I will continue to support these types of educational opportunities that expand student engagement and leadership and lead to a brighter future for New Mexico.”
Delegate selection is administered by the New Mexico Public Education Department in coordination with high school principals. Delegates must be juniors or seniors for the 2014-15 school year, must serve as elected school officers for the 2014-15 school year, and must reside and attend school in New Mexico. Selected students typically demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities and a commitment to public service, and generally rank academically within the top 1 percent of students from their state.
Applications from New Mexico students are due by October 10, 2014, and the names of selected students will be formally announced mid-December.
The 2015 brochure with further information and detailed rules about the selection process may be viewed at www.ussenateyouth.org.
The application for New Mexico students is available at www.nmassp.org/id14.html.