United States Senate Youth Program (Hearst Foundations) Scholarship
Washington Week Overview
Washington Week is an intensive week of unparalleled educational activities designed to deepen the student delegates’ understanding of the federal government and give them direct access to those who lead it.
The action packed agenda for the week encompasses the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. Events include meeting with the Senate Co-Chairs, other Senate leaders and the Senate parliamentarian and historian; a justice of the Supreme Court, the president, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and other executive agencies, a foreign ambassador to the U.S. and senior members of the media.
The agenda for Washington Week reflects the substantive issues of the day, and at each event the question and answer session is extensive. A highlight of the week is the USSYP Annual Senate Reception where all student delegates have an opportunity, in a virtual format in 2022, to meet and converse with their U.S. senators. This in-depth exposure to national and international leaders who generously give their time is precisely what fuels and sustains the delegates’ commitment to making a difference in their schools, their communities and their country.
The Department of Defense maintains a longstanding partnership with the United States Senate Youth Program by providing a competitively selected “purple team” of 17 of the most exceptional military officers from each service branch to serve as mentors during Washington Week. The mentors help the students move smoothly from one high-level venue to the next and guide the students in the protocol and comportment necessary during the week.
United States Senate Youth Program Official Brochure and Press Release
The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) Washington Week will be held online the week of March 4 – 11, 2023. THE PROGRAM MAY BE HELD ONLINE PENDING PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDANCE, TO BE DETERMINED IN THE FALL OF 2022. Two students from each state will be selected to attend the online program and each will receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship. Qualified high school juniors or seniors must show demonstrated leadership by serving in elected or appointed positions in which they are actively representing a constituency in organizations related to student government, education, public affairs and community service. They must be actively serving in qualified leadership positions, enrolled in high school and living in the state (and for these purposes the District of Columbia) that they will represent for the entire 2022–2023 academic year.
United States Senate Youth Program – Hearst Scholarship
104 STUDENTS WILL BE SELECTED FOR A WEEK-LONG GOVERNMENT AND LEADERSHIP EDUCATION PROGRAM AND WILL EACH RECEIVE A $10,000 UNDERGRADUATE COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP.
The United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution in 1962 creating the UNITED STATES SENATE YOUTH PROGRAM (USSYP), a national nonpartisan initiative to provide an annual opportunity for talented high school students with demonstrated leadership abilities to deepen their understanding of America’s political processes and strengthen their resolve to pursue careers in public service.
The USSYP brings the highest-level officials from each branch of government to meet with this outstanding group of young leaders—two high school juniors or seniors from each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)— for an intensive week-long education and leadership program to be held either in Washington, D.C., or online. The program is merit-based and highly competitive. Each student will also receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to pursue coursework in history and political science. Now in its 60th year, the program has been fully funded since inception by THE HEARST FOUNDATIONS as an enduring commitment to preparing young people for civic leadership in our participatory democracy.
Numbering more than 5,900, USSYP alumni serve the country in many ways. They have become leaders in government, law, business, education, journalism, the military, medicine, health care, higher education and many other fields. Alumni serve as elected and appointed officials at all levels of government, including a current United States senator, a current cabinet secretary, many congressional staff members, a former governor, former senior political advisors to the president of the United States, former ambassadors and former federal judges. The commonality to all of their success is the desire to serve.
THE 60TH ANNUAL UNITED STATES SENATE YOUTH PROGRAM IS BEING PLANNED FOR MARCH 4–11, 2022 IN WASHINGTON, D.C. THE PROGRAM MAY BE HELD ONLINE PENDING PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDANCE, TO BE DETERMINED IN THE FALL OF 2021.
Delegates will hear major policy addresses by senators, cabinet members, officials of the Departments of State and Defense, leaders of other federal agencies and senior members of the national media. Delegates also traditionally participate in a meeting with a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and the president of the United States. Most speaking events include in-depth question and answer sessions.
The Hearst Foundations will pay all expenses for Washington Week including transportation, hotel and meals if held in person. The Department of Defense (DoD) annually provides a team of competitively selected men and women officers to serve as mentors and chaperones for the student delegates, and a registered nurse, licensed physician and professional security team are in place at all times throughout an in-person week.
Code of Conduct
Delegates will be the guests of the United States Senate and The Hearst Foundations throughout the program, whether in person or online, and are required to conduct themselves with civility, dignity and professionalism. Debate and discussion are actively encouraged in an environment of tolerance, respect and inclusion. Students selected to the program are serving as at-large public representatives of their states, communities and schools, and attend the program to learn from the speakers and from one another. Students are prohibited from engaging in lobbying, petitioning, protest or overt political activism during Washington Week. Cyber bullying will not be tolerated.
Washington Week 2022 Slideshow
Photo credit: Jacub Mosur, USSYP Program Photographer
2021 United States Senate Youth Program Winners
Delegates Claire Doyle and Dominic Mendlik, both of Omaha.
2018 United States Senate Youth Program Winners
Bouthaina Ibrahim from Lincoln Northeast High School and Nicole Fintel from Lincoln East High School
2017 United States Senate Youth Program Winners
Jacob McNeill from Elkhorn South High School and Matthew Fredricks from Grand Island Northwest High School pictured.