The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) is a unique and annual educational experience for outstanding high school students interested in pursuing careers in public service. Typically, two student leaders from each state will spend a week in Washington experiencing their national government in action. Student delegates will hear major policy addresses by Senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of other federal agencies, as well as participate in a meeting with a Justice of the US Supreme Court. All transportation, hotel and meal expenses will be provided by The Hearst Foundations. In addition, each delegate is also awarded a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate studies, with encouragement to pursue coursework in history and political science.
The 61st annual United States Senate Youth Program Washington Week is being planned to be held in person in Washington, D.C. March 4–11, 2023. Application processes are underway and the national deadline for all states to submit their delegate selections is Dec. 1, 2022. The program may be held online pending public health guidance and status of large group access to the government venues traditionally visited. If held in person, all delegates will be required to be fully vaccinated to attend.
UPDATE ON COVID-19 VACCINATION REQUIREMENT: In the interest of health and safety for all participants, students must be fully vaccinated to serve as a delegate in Washington, DC. Schedules for full vaccination series can be seen here. Selected students who are not vaccinated will have adequate time to complete the full vaccination series of two vaccine doses and be confirmed ready for service, prior to the program deadline of Feb. 1, 2023. Students may not serve as delegates to an in-person program or receive the scholarship if they fail to meet this requirement.
All eligible students are encouraged to apply. Students must attend the program to receive the scholarship. Regardless of platform, all confirmed student delegates will partake in a comprehensive, interactive leadership program in the stated timeframe, and each will receive a $10,000 college scholarship in the name of the United States Senate. All student leadership qualifying positions are subject to the judgment of the state selection administrator and will be verified and confirmed.
Basic Eligibility Requirements
Delegates from the District of Columbia must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Students are permanent residents of the US, and one of their parents or guardians is a legal resident of Washington, DC.
- Students are juniors or seniors in a Washington, DC school.
- Students must have been elected or appointed to one of the following posts for the current school year (2022-23 school year).
- Student Body president, vice president, secretary or treasurer
- Class president, vice president, secretary or treasurer
- Student Council representative
- A National Honor Society officer (including discipline-based Honor Societies such as the National English and Social Studies Honor Societies that include service components)
- Student representative elected or appointed (appointed by a panel, commission or board) to a local, district, regional or state-level civic, service and/or educational organization approved by the state selection administrator, where the student holds a position of representation to a constituency in a year-round capacity providing service to others.
The following positions/memberships DO NOT qualify a student for the program:
- Attendance or officer position at Boys/Girls Nation or State summer conference
- Member of the National Honor Society (serving as an elected officer for the organization for the entire school year is acceptable)
- Member or leader of the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts or JROTC
- A founder or chairperson of a self-created group
- A participant, captain or officer in Mock Trial, Debate Team, Model U.N. or other academic club, conference or competition where the primary engagement is for the individual educational enrichment
You may access the application, instructions, and timeline on the application page.