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Two Outstanding Students Will Be Selected to Spend a Week in Washington Observing the Federal Government in Action

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch announced that the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) has begun its statewide selection process.  The two Idaho students selected will join 102 other delegates March 3-10, 2012 for the program's 50 th Anniversary Washington Week.

The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 as stated in supporting Senate testimony from that year, "to increase young Americans' understanding of the interrelationship of the three branches of government, the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but for people around the world."  

Since that time, more than 5,000 students have participated in this unique leadership program.  Each year, The United States Senate Youth Program brings two students from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity to Washington to experience an intensive week-long educational program about the workings of the Senate and the federal government overall.  USSYP is sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations - no government funds are utilized.

In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to public service, the students generally rank academically in the top one percent of their states.  They continue to excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service.  Among the many distinguished former program delegates are Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the first program delegate elected to the Senate; New Jersey Governor Christopher Christie; Congressman Cory Gardner of Colorado; former Chief Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt and former Presidential Advisors Thomas "Mack" McLarty and Karl Rove. Additional distinguished alumni are:  former Lt. Governor of Idaho David Leroy, military officers, Foreign Service Officers, members of State Legislatures, top Congressional staff, healthcare providers and university educators.

"This opportunity to experience the legislative process firsthand is unparalleled," said Crapo.  "Participation in this program is a rewarding experience for the students as well as their families and friends who learn of their activities in Washington.  It also provides students with a sense of whether they want to pursue a future internship or career in public service."  

"In addition to experiencing the various roles of the three branches of federal government, those selected for this prestigious program will be interacting and building friendships with other future leaders.  I encourage all Idaho students to consider applying for this unique opportunity," said Risch.

Each of the 104 student delegates will receive a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship, in addition to the all-expenses paid trip to the nation's capital.

The student delegates will visit Capitol Hill, the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, the Supreme Court and other historic sites in Washington.  They will meet with Senators, cabinet officers, government leaders and other policy-makers.

The delegate selection is administered by each state's chief school officer in cooperation with high school principals. Delegates must be juniors or seniors and elected student officers for the 2011-2012 academic year and they must reside in the state where they attend school.  Eligibility considerations may also be made for student representatives elected or selected (by a panel, commission or board) to district, regional or state-level civic or educational organizations.

Each student must be a permanent resident of the United States and currently enrolled in a public or private secondary school located in the state (including for these purposes the District of Columbia) in which either one of his or her parents or guardians legally resides.  Exceptions to the residency rule are made for the Department of Defense Education Activity and for states with schools under Interstate Compacts.

Names of students selected will be formally announced mid-December.  Since application deadlines vary by state, interested students in Idaho should contact their high school principal or the state-level selection administrator indicated below:


Mr. Peter G. Kavouras

                                                Director, Content, Innovation and Choice

                                                P.O. Box 83720

                                                Boise, ID  83720-0027

                                                Ph. (208) 332-6974


The United States Senate Youth Program received notification that the Idaho selection deadline is: October 28, 2011.

The 2012program brochure with detailed rules, selection process and the annual yearbook may be accessed on the USSYP website